In the fast paced American culture which highly values accomplishments, “No Pain, No Gain” and the accumulation of material possessions — restorative yoga is often viewed as being…well… a little on the lazy end of the fitness spectrum. We lead very busy lives, rarely taking time to let the brain settle, except during sleep. While adequate sleep is critical to our well-being,calming the brain during waking hours is just as important in managing our daily stress.
Think of the different body reactions that happen as you need to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending a car. The heart rate increases, blood pressure rises as blood vessels constrict, blood flow is redirected to the extremities, breathing becomes very shallow, and you may feel a little nauseous. These reactions are the result of activation of the Sympathetic NervousSystem (SNS) also known as the fight-or-flight response. While beneficial when we need to act quickly to slam on the brakes, chronic activation of the SNS commonly experienced in our culture is very devastating to our hormone balance, immune system, emotional well-being.
Restorative yoga activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), responsible for counter-balancing the SNS. When our bodies are in PNS mode, the “rest and digest” mode, the opposite reactions in the body are experienced. The heart rate and breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, blood vessels relax and blood flow is directed to the digestive system to keep the stress hormone cortisol is kept in check.
The more you practice restorative yoga, the more capable you become at recognizing when the body and mind are in stress mode, and can actually activate the PNS. For a happier you,balance your more strenuous physical fitness activities with a restorative yoga practice.
Western Reserve Racquet and Fitness Club Offers Yoga
We offer six yoga classes throughout the week and are dedicated to helping you keep focus and balance in your everyday life! You are welcome to try yoga anytime and if you are health member, this is free. If you are a tennis member, you can try it out for a guest fee for $8 per class. And if you want to convert your tennis membership to a full membership, that is entirely available to you.