How Restorative Yoga Changed My LifeJanuary 16, 2023
Every year, it feels as though life moves faster, our attention span grows shorter, and our responsibilities grow larger due to the cost of simply existing. Unfortunately, this has created a pandemic of chronically stressed and depressed individuals who barely have time for themselves, let alone a solid self care routine. Quite frankly, we spend way too much time in the sympathetic nervous system, the part of our autonomic nervous system responsible for our fight or flight response.
However, as concerning as it is, I still have hope that we as a society can learn to slow down and spend more time in our parasympathetic nervous system, the other part of our autonomic nervous system responsible for resting and restoring the body back to a calm state, preventing it from overworking.
I spent most of my young adult life as a gym rat, practicing high intensity workouts and constantly on the go. These physical activities definitely improved my mental and emotional health; however, nothing has helped me more than practicing restorative yoga. Unlike other yoga styles, restorative yoga centers meditation, rest and restoration in the mind, body and spirit. Regardless, if it’s a 10 minute or one-hour practice, the intentional act of restoring the literal cells in my body has improved my productivity, sleep, energy and overall personality. I feel more at ease, safe in my body and emotionally stable. I value and appreciate the intentionality of restorative yoga, especially now that we are in a constant state of movement and stress.
As we enter the New Year, I challenge myself and others to find at least 10 minutes a week to intentionally activate the parasympathetic nervous system. I still love the gym and lifting weights, don’t get me wrong, but finding that balance between high intensity workouts and gentle ways to take care of my mind and body has given me the balance I’ve always been looking for. Life is all about balance, and I encourage everyone reading this to focus on their internal world just as much as their external world moving forward.