Restorative Yoga for Anxiety
Finding a way to help control your anxiety is something that can be really difficult for a lot of people to do. While dealing with high anxiety, the last thing anyone probably wants to do is go to a class, away from home that’s in front of a bunch of people. As someone with severe anxiety, I’m here to tell you that restorative yoga is basically one of the best practices you can do for your nervous system.
You may be wondering why I’m suggesting a class for people with anxiety, when it’s probably the last thing someone with anxiety would want to do. I promise you, it’s one of the best classes to take because so many people there have anxiety and are there for the same reason you are.
This practice is peaceful, calm, slow and relaxing. Every different type of restorative yoga class I’ve taken has the lights out and your eyes are closed a lot of the time. No one is paying attention to you and only to the instructor. How perfect is that? A class where you can work on calming your nervous system without anyone giving you attention.
I mentioned that the class has a lot of calm and slow movements, but there are some poses that require you doing quite a few stretches that release tension so that you can also get your physical healthy is hot moments in while working on the mental ones as well.
Over the past few years looking up benefits of restorative yoga and from what instructors tell us in class, here are a list of benefits of restorative yoga:
· Improve flexibility
· Relax your body
· Helps you practice being in the present
· Balance your nervous system
· Balance your emotions
· Improve your mood
This class filled with deep stretches, calming poses and deep breaths will truly help you focus on the present not only in class, but in your everyday life as well. A lot of our anxieties are heightened by thinking about what will happen instead of focusing on what’s currently happening – although sometimes you do need to think of the future, it’s not beneficial to do it all the time. It really takes a toll on the mind and body and I’m 100% guilty of doing so.
Another great thing about restorative yoga (and any yoga practice, really) is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home! My absolute favourite yogi to follow on Youtube is Sarah Beth Yoga. She has so many different types of practice to follow along and although some practices require props (which you can get some at Lululemon, Sportchek or even little local yoga shops in your town), you can still do the practices. Sometimes going to a space (like a class) to clear your thoughts helps you truly step into the present moment of doing your yoga practice so that you aren’t distracted by things in your home. Sometimes our homes are a reminder of stress so being able to leave the house is a nice option once in a while.
A lot of yoga studios offer a one-time pass where you pay a drop-in fee, a combo of classes (ex., 10 classes = $X), or you can get yourself a full membership. The options are great for whatever your budget is. A lot of gyms are also now offering yoga, so if you go to one, reach out to front desk to ask for details!
One last piece of advice: Restorative yoga goes by different names sometimes, so if you’re unsure of a studio’s classes, don’t be afraid to e-mail them and ask if any of their classes are a restorative yoga class. Almost every single studio has this type of yoga but decided to name it something else that best suits their brand.
Hope this gets you up and at it, try it out and let us at Healthy is Hot know what you thought of the class or any other yoga class you take. Yoga has truly been life-changing for me in high times of stress (and even when I’m not super stressed) and I hope it can change your life for the better, too!