"The antidote to stress is relaxation. To relax is to rest deeply. This rest is different from sleep. Deep states of sleep include periods of dreaming which increase muscular tension, as well as other physiological signs of tension. Relaxation is a state in which there is no movement, no effort, and the brain is quiet.
Common to all stress reduction techniques is putting the body in a comfortable position, with gentle attention directed toward the breath. Do these techniques work? Scientists have researched the effects of relaxation and report measurable benefits, including reduction in muscle tension and improved circulation.
Restorative poses help relieve the effects of chronic stress. Restorative yoga can be described as “active relaxation.” By supporting the body with props, we alternately stimulate and relax the body to move toward balance. Some poses have an overall benefit. Others target an individual part, such as the lungs or heart. All create specific physiological responses which are beneficial to health and can reduce the effects of stress-related diseases.
In general, restorative poses are for those times when you feel weak , fatigued, or stressed from your daily activities. They are especially beneficial for the times before , during, and after major life events. In addition, you can practice the poses when ill, or recovering from illness or injury.
Learning to relax is at the heart of living well. "
Written by Judith Hanson Lasater in her book,
Relax & Renew, Restful Yoga For Stressful Times