Relaxation is the solution to truly rest and to reactivate the physiological functions of the body. Relaxing does not mean sleeping. In fact, if sleep is disturbed, we do regenerate at all, but we feel even more exhausted.
During sleep, there are dreams and other stages that can create muscle and mental activation. Relaxation is the time when there is no physical or mental effort, and the mind is completely calm.
In the practice of Restorative Yoga, the relaxation is “active.” And through the mindful performance of the postures and the focus on the breath, we quickly enter a parasympathetic state.
What happens when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated?
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body’s unconscious actions.
The parasympathetic system is responsible for “rest and digestion” responses, which are all activities that occur when the body is at rest, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation, urination, digestion, and defecation.
The action of the parasympathetic nervous system is complementary to that of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the activities associated with the “fight or flight” response.
When we are in a state of relaxation and tranquillity, and consequently, when our mind is calm, our nervous system enters the parasympathetic state.