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Submitted by Lucy Cimini on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 07:09
Restorative yoga helps relieve the effects of chronic stress in several ways. First, the use of props as described below provide a completely supportive environment for total relaxation. Second, each restorative sequence is designed to move the spine in all directions. The poses gently twist the column both left and right. Third, a well-sequenced restorative practice also includes an inverted pose which reverses the effects of gravity. By changing the relationship of the legs to gravity, fluids are returned to the upper body and heart function is enhanced. Fourth, restorative yoga alternately stimulates and soothes the organs. For example, by closing the abdomen with a forward bend and then opening it with a backbend, the abdominal organs are squeezed, forcing blood out, and then opened, so that fresh blood returns to soak the organs. With this movement of blood comes the enhanced exchange of oxygen and waste products across the cell membrane. Finally, yoga teaches that the body is permeated with energy. Restorative yoga balances the masculine and feminine energies that reside above and below the diaphragm so that the practitioner is neither over stimulated nor depleted.