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Melt Muscle Tension With Restorative Yoga

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are looking for a way to wind way down, restorative yoga might be the answer. recommends it for total stress relief. I have used it for a couple of years and the magic always works. I come into class with my brain buzzing and my teeth clenched and leave smiling. 

Restorative yoga springs from the original yoga, but it is a much slower, passive version of yoga created to relax muscle tension and ease stress. The goal is deep physical and mental relaxation instead of strength building. The minute you settle onto your mat, you may feel your concerns lift. 

If that sounds good to you, look for a class or check out an online class to sample it. 

This low-intensity yoga is perfect for beginners and experienced yoga participants. Health and wellness coaches recommend it to lower blood pressure and heart rate, balance emotions, and soothe chronic pain such as headaches or lower back pain.  

What Will Happen 

  • Fewer poses are used and each one is held longer. 
  • You will pay close attention to your breath 
  • You will breathe deeply into each stretch 
  • You will gradually relax tense muscles 
  • You will focus on what you think as you link brain, body and breath 

Props to Use 

Props are often used to facilitate and  hold poses. 

  • Yoga blocks or bricks 
  • Pillows or bolsters 
  • Towels that support the body during a pose 
  • Straps or bands to lengthen, deepen or hold a stretch 

Sample the Poses 

Here are a few of the stress-relieving, restorative yoga poses to try.  As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. 

Basic Bridge Pose  

The beginning bridge pose activates glutes, opens hips and chest and improves spinal mobility. Start by lying on your back knees bent and heels close to your bottom. Arms are at sides. Press feet into the mat, squeeze glutes gently and lift hips up off the mat. Hold and then lower back to the mat. 

Child's Pose 

This is the stretch to retreat to whenever you need a break. It decompresses the spine, opens up the shoulders and provides a moment of peace. Stay in the pose as long as you need to. Start by kneeling with knees spread into a V and toes touching. Sit back on heels and lower chest forward toward knees with arms extended and head resting on the mat 

Seated Forward Bend 

This pose calms the nervous system and lowers blood pressure as it stretches hamstrings, booty and back. It's the ultimate stress reliever. Sit on the floor with legs and feet out in front of you. Put a cushion on your lap and told over it with arms stretched forward toward feet.. To make it easier put a rolled up blanket under your knees. Close your eyes and rest your forehead  on the cushion. 

If you desperately need a break with a way to release tension, restorative yoga may be an ongoing answer to use whenever you need it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Euless, Tex.

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