Last week we talked about a few of our favorite brands for yoga clothes and what to wear for yoga here at our studio. But today we wanted to talk a little bit about the power of slowing down in this crazy thing called life.

You may have asked yourself, “What in the world is this Yin and Restorative yoga these Rare Bird ladies speak of?”  Or if you’ve been to one of these classes for the first time, you may have found yourself thinking, “How does rolling around on the floor for an hour benefit me?” we, ladies and gentlemen, are going to answer that question.

Both Yin and Restorative are very similar as most of the poses are indeed done on the floor.  Both of these types of yoga are designed to slow down crazy minds and give tense bodies time to really open up into a stretch.  Poses are often done slower and held longer.  It sometimes takes two to four minutes of deep breathing while in a pose for your tense muscles to really let go and relax.  If we had to sum up Yin and Restorative using a Disney song (because why would we not?), it would definitely be “Let It Go” by Elsa, but it would be sung in a slower, acoustic coffee-house style.

Yin and Restorative both slow down breathing and heart rate.  It is generally considered a great practice for people with high stress or anxiety issues. It is also great for those who want to improve mobility and flexibility.  The long holds on stretches help open joints and stretch out connective tissue called fascia.   Because of these benefits, it is also good for someone just starting an exercise regime as well as seasoned athletes because it provides deep stretches that are not offered in other types of yoga.

If you are used to a high-stress, fast-paced life, it may take you a few sessions to really reap the benefits of these types of yoga. With practice, you will walk out of class feeling like you’ve just had a massage or the world’s best nap.  Rare Bird Instructor and Yin Extraordinaire, Shelby Day, offers the following on her Yin and Restorative journey.

“I was referred to a Yin yoga class by my chiropractor because my neck and shoulders were always so tight and I had frequent headaches.  I had also mentioned that I was a recovering Type A personality.  I had always liked being in control of situations and like things done in specific ways.  I also lived a very fast-paced life by always saying “Yes” and not really taking enough time to take care of myself.  She strongly recommended that I start taking the Yin class to avoid further health issues and to learn to calm down.  During the first few classes, I would go through the slow physical motions while my brain was still going 90 miles an hour.  I was mentally making my grocery list or listing all the things I needed to accomplish before I went to bed.  However, with practice I was able to let everything go.  I would either clear my mind and focus on my breathing or I would focus on a guided imagery.  With practice, I got better and better and was able to calm down and slow down much quicker.  This has led to me having a much better quality of life.  If I feel myself getting stressed out.  I remind myself that I do not have to be in control of every situation, everything does not have to be perfect, I do not have to be perfect, and I am not running a race.  I am now able to apply the skills I was taught in Yin to my everyday life.  If I feel myself getting stressed out, I simply stop where I am and breathe deeply.  If I am really stressed out, I make time to run through an entire Yin or Restorative class to reset my pace in life. It never fails to give me a new perspective.  It reminds me to slow down and be mindful of the present.  I have become so much more aware of little things.  I will take in the colors of the trees on the way to work.  I will notice the particular blue of the sky on any given day.  It is almost like my eyes have been open to a different world. However, that world was there all along, I just needed to slow down and notice.”

We get it. Slowing down and finding time to just breathe can be hard when you have jobs, and errands, and clothes to be washed, and kids to be fed, and groceries to be bought, and the list goes on and on. But we can tell you that time for you is vitally important. You can’t pour from an empty cup and taking time to de-stress can have a large impact on not just your mental well being, but your physical health as well.

To schedule a little bit of you-time, just click here.

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