I often receive comments and questions on my social media accounts regarding videos of my yoga practice. I try to make it a point to respond to each comment and question. In addition to responding on the original site, I have decided to post some of my responses to my blog.
Video: Restorative Neck Traction
Subscriber comment: “Restorative?” What exactly is being restored?
Response: This pose, a variation of Uttanasana, is considered a semi-inversion. A semi-inversion is an asana where the head is below the heart but the feet are on the floor. Other examples of semi-inversions are Adho mukha svanasana and Halasana.
The difference here, unlike Uttanasana, is the shoulders are supported by the chair and gravity creates a mild traction in the cervical spine.
The restorative aspects of inversions (even semi-inversions) are as follows; they calm the brain and help relieve stress and mild depression. They promote a slower heart rate and vasodilation (the dilatation of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure).
But, as with all of my videos, not all practices are appropriate for all students. This is a wonderful practice for me, however, if a student has a short neck, their shoulders will not be supported by the chair. If a student has very tight hamstrings, the restorative benefits are lost by the struggle of trying to keep the legs straight.
The goal of my videos is to present possibilities for your practice. Hopefully help you step out of the box to explore, play and bring a full dose of imagination to your practice.