According to a recent NASA study, astronauts in space can grow up to 3 percent taller during the time spent living outside earth’s gravity. That means that a 6-foot-tall person could gain as many as 2 inches while in orbit. That gain is short lived, however, and once the astronauts return to Earth their height returns to normal after a few months.
So, what does that mean for those of us who are earthbound? And why might this be of particular interest to yoga students? Well for one thing, this speaks volumes about the effect that gravity has on our spines. Fortunately, the practice of yoga can help you counteract this spinal compression and create more space without the expense of orbiting the earth.
Ever notice that certain poses can actually make you feel taller? Or that once you have stretched one side of the body, it feels “longer” and maybe even “lighter” than the other? Could it be that yoga students, like the men and women in space, are simply accessing “space” in their spine that is already there?
Decompressing – or lengthening – the spine with yoga frees us up to move with more agility and a wider range of motion. That increased mobility can lighten the spirit while promoting better overall health for the entire nervous system.
We have long believed that yoga is “out of this world” and this study supports that theory. And remember, while all of the classes at Sunrise Yoga will offer this benefit, we have two classes specifically geared to Back Care (Thursdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm with Kim and Saturdays, 11:00 am-12:30 pm with Karen). You can learn more about all of our classes HERE. And, on December 28th, Karen’s Back Care Class will be FREE!!!
Participant, Ginny, had this to say after discovering Restorative Yoga:
“After Restorative Yoga class, I slept better than I’d slept in months.
I wish I could go to Restorative every night.”
Wow – that’s quite a testimonial! Restorative Yoga is a practice of only a few number of poses that are held for a longer period of time than a typical yoga practice. The poses are very simple yet very effective in reducing stress. Yogis developed these poses over many years, but science tells us that, under the conditions set in Restorative Yoga, immediate effects on heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity are possible. Complete muscular relaxation and comfort are emphasized to achieve a quiet state of mind and body. Many props such as blankets, eye bags, and chairs are used.
The instructor of Restorative Yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga is Elaine Round. To deeply understand the physiology of relaxation, Elaine has studied with Roger Cole, an internationally recognized, certified Iyengar yoga teacher trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institutes in San Francisco and Pune, India. She says,
“Restorative yoga class equals 90 minutes of intentional, deep relaxation.
Think of it as a mini vacation without the sand and salt water.”
At Sunrise Yoga, we now offer two levels of Restorative Yoga. Experience with yoga is not required to participate in the Level 1 Restorative class. Experience with yoga and with Restorative Yoga is required to participate in Level 2 Restorative class. In December, Level 1 Restorative will take place on Sunday, December 15th from 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Level 2 Restorative is the following Sunday, December 22nd, from 3:30 – 5:30 pm.
As the year ends with lots of activity and busyness, take time to relax and, if you have not yet tried Restorative Yoga, make plans to attend the December class. To see all the classes offered at Sunrise Yoga, visit our web site. To learn more about Elaine, read her bio here.