Work. Relationships. Money. Climate change. Yoga scandals. We live in stressful times, and now more than ever, we need to remember to rest and restore ourselves. Judith Hanson Lasater’s book, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, is the ultimate guide to restorative yoga.
I have three copies of the beautiful new edition of Relax and Renew, courtesy of IAYB sponsor Rodmell Press. To enter, leave a comment before 9am EST on Monday, February 20, answering the skill-testing question: How do you relax?
Author Judith Hanson Lasater answered a few questions about the simple and powerful practice of restorative yoga.
What is restorative yoga? How is the practice different from other approaches?
Restorative yoga is the use of props to support the body in positions of ease and relaxation in order to facilitate balance and health. Most asana practice is about stretching. Restorative yoga is about opening.
Why do we need to relax and renew?
We are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress in our society. We seem to have less and less time, with more and more to do. Deeply relaxing for 20 minutes a day can positively affect virtually all systems of the body and can help us to rebalance our health.
You turned to restorative yoga during a painful time in your life. What are the profound healing effects of restorative poses?
There are so many! Restorative yoga can help with insomnia, anxiety, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infertility, menstrual cramps, lower back pain and other conditions and symptoms. All these have been studied.
Restorative yoga is a wonderful way to relax. But what are some ways that we can relax when we’re OFF our yoga mats?
Ask yourself: Am I stressed because I rush, or am I rushed because I’m stressed? The easiest way to relax is to slow down. Take several very slow breaths. Walk 10 percent slower. Drive the speed limit. And most effective of all: do one thing at a time. Really. Instead of multitasking, uni-task. Try it, it works.
Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, has been a yoga teacher since 1970 and is the author of eight books including Relax & Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times.