Some of the benefits you can experience include:
- Improved Flexibility
- Enhanced Circulation
- Pain Relief
- Balanced Nervous System
- Stress Reduction
- Mindfulness and Presence
- Emotional Healing
- Improved Sleep
- Enhanced Self-Care
- Mind-Body Connection
These benefits make restorative yoga a valuable practice for individuals seeking physical relaxation, stress reduction, and emotional well-being.
If you try restorative yoga, you may find that once you are comfortable you are ready to kick it up a level. Look for a Vin-Yin Yoga class. Vin-Yin yoga is a yoga class that combines Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. The class typically begins with dynamic Vinyasa flows and ends with a restorative Yin sequence.
If you enjoy the meditative qualities of restorative yoga but hate the “stillness” you should try meditative walking. Walking meditation, also known as khinin, is a Buddhist practice that involves walking between periods of sitting meditation. It's a moving meditation that can be practiced in many forms, including Theravada, Mahayana, and Zen Buddhism. Some of the benefits of walking meditation include:
- Improved physical health.
- Improved balance.
- Reduced stress-inducing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
- A way to bring your body and mind together.
- A way to keep you grounded in the present moment.
To get started, find a place that is calm and safe for you to walk. Start your walk off slower than your normal pace and focus on the feeling of walking and notice how your body feels with each step. Keep your hands wherever comfortable, it can be on your belly, behind your back, or at your sides.
With each of your steps, pay attention to the lifting and falling of your foot. Notice the movement of your legs and the rest of your body. Notice any shifting of your body from side to side. Try focusing on different senses at different times. Start with focusing on sounds. You do not need to identify the sound or whether you enjoy or dislike it, just take it in as nothing more or less than sound. When you are ready, move on to smell and vision with similar effort. If you catch your mind wandering, simply guide it back to the present. The more you practice, the better you will get and the greater the benefit you will realize.
Restorative yoga and meditative walking both offer similar benefits for reducing anxiety, improving circulation, sleep quality, and more. Try adding one or both to your weekly fitness routine.