We all know how hard it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it can be very confusing to sort out what the best use of your limited time is. Far too many of us end up skipping meditative practices like Restorative Yoga for the sake of something like Crossfit.
But research has confirmed time and again that Restorative practices are essential for optimal health, weight control, and overall wellness. Whether or not you’re hitting the gym, attending our Power Plate sessions, or sweating it out in one of Symmetry Yoga’s more challenging Vinyasa classes, Restorative Yoga is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to losing weight, improving sleep, and feeling your best. And here’s why: The regulatory branch of the human nervous system is governed by two sub-systems: the Sympathetic Nervous System, or “SNS” (better known as the “fight or flight” system) and its partner, the Parasympathetic Nervous System, or “PNS” (commonly called the “rest and digest” system).
These two halves of the same whole are kind of like the temperature knob on your bathroom faucet: in order for the water temperature to stay within a comfortable range, there has to be enough hot water (SNS function) and enough cold water (PNS function) coming through the pipes. And in order to maintain that comfortable balance, we have to do things that support both sides in functioning optimally. A lot of the general “best health practices” that we’re all familiar with do support both the SNS and PNS, like getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet. But the SNS has a tendency to work overtime, which is why so many of us struggle with Anxiety, neck and back pain, jaw tension, insomnia, muscle spasms, etc. no matter how “clean” our lifestyle is. You can think of these issues as “burns” from an excess of hot water (SNS function) without enough cold water (PNS function) to balance it out: when the nervous system is in that SNS-dominant “too hot” state, there’s no way for the body to “cool down”, lose weight, heal from injuries, or even get quality REM sleep. Without Restorative practices, we end up on an endless hamster wheel of working out and cutting calories, and seeing minimal results. The good news is that Symmetry Yoga offers the best support possible for the PNS: Restorative Yoga! Also, check our schedule regularly for other Yin/Restorative Yoga offerings.