How restorative yoga can improve your workplace wellness
Our restorative yoga evening class will take place on Tuesday 27 March. Benefits of doing regular restorative yoga sessions are plentiful and can help improve the overall wellness of your workplace and your employees.
What is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga is a relaxing, calming style of yoga that uses minimal physical effort to release tension from the body. It is taught at a very slow pace, exploring as few as five or six postures in a class. Props such as bolsters, blankets, straps, blocks and eye pillows are used to support the body so you can relax deep into poses.
This makes it ideal for those wishing to host lessons within their office. From the outside, it might look like a group nap. It’s very slow in pace and unlike other forms of yoga, it requires minimal physical effort. It’s often described as the dessert of yoga; the poses are there to be savoured and the sweetness lingers.
Can it work in the workplace?
When questioning whether to implement this within your own workplace, it’s worth noting that there are many benefits to having a regular restorative yoga practice. In our fast-paced world, it brings balance to our lives by slowing down and experiencing a deep sense of relaxation.
It’s best practiced when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the world and in need of rejuvenation. When you use props to support the body it allows you relax further into poses offering your muscles the opportunity to slowly stretch which helps increase your flexibility.
As your body feels supported you begin to engage with your breath on a deeper level, this helps activate what is known as the parasympathetic nervous system. Our ‘fight or flight’ mode deactivates restoring the body to a state of calm allowing it to relax and restore. With practice, a restorative class can quiet an overstimulated mind and encourage you to bask in the present moment.
Who can do restorative yoga?
For those only starting, restorative yoga can appear overwhelming to beginners as it involves lots of props, however, this practice is for everyone.
Don’t let the props freak you out, they are there to help you and offer support so just make sure you are comfortable. Comfort is the key here, once you’re comfortable and feel supported you will experience a deeper sense of relaxation.
If you’re not sure, ask the teacher it’s what they’re there for after all. It might feel like you’re not doing much at a restorative class, but that’s the point. Connect with the breath and enjoy the opportunity to slow down and relax.
How does it benefit workplace wellness?
Understanding how to better your workplace culture through wellness is extremely important. However, it’s also handy to know that any yoga practice will benefit your workplace wellness.
In a world where our senses experience constant bombarding, yoga restores balance to our bodies and offers us a chance to just pause and reflect. Restorative yoga in particular is amazing for anyone who is feeling the pressures of our fast-paced work environments.
We tend to live in our ‘fight or flight’ mode nowadays, reacting constantly to stimulants around us. We rarely give our bodies the opportunity to rest and restore. For gym goers, it’s an amazing rest day practice and it is also ideal for someone having a hard time slowing down or struggling with anxiety.
When you start practising yoga, it’s important to remember to focus on your own mat and leave that ego at the door. Yoga is a deeply personal practice, be patient and go easy on yourself. Remember, yoga is about what you can do and not what you can’t do. Restrictions in our bodies are there for a reason. Enjoy the practice for what it is, you are exactly where you need to be.
This piece was written by Aoife Walsh, Glandore’s Community and Events Manager. Aoife has been practising yoga for over 10 years and has completed her training with Yoga Therapy Ireland. She has been teaching for three years and currently teaches in Yoga Dublin in Ranelagh.