Relaxation and Stress Relief: Breathing Techniques
We all know that a healthy diet, good sleep and daily exercise are great ways to reduce stress, but have you ever noticed how our workouts are equally intense? We approach them the same way we approach our work and lives. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” to quote Daft Punk. What if we allowed ourselves the time to just take a breath and slow down?
Restorative Yoga helps us to slow down and just be. Using several blankets, blocks, bolsters, straps, and even an eye pillow to support our body helps our nervous system to feel supported and relaxed. Ideally, some poses would be held for 15-20 minutes, because it takes about 15 minutes for the mind and body to start the process of relaxation. Have you ever read that it should take about 15 minutes to fall asleep at night? If you fall asleep too quickly, you are probably overworked or overstressed.
A powerful-yet-simple practice that you can do at home or here at the YWCA, is Restorative Yoga. To properly practice Restorative Yoga, you should be in a dark, warm and quiet space, and to hold the postures for a long period of time.
For more information you can check out Judith Lasater’s book, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, or talk to one of the yoga teachers here at the YWCA.
Looking for instructive help in getting started? Check out our Personal Training and Pilates Training options.