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Episode 78: Holiday Series! Roger Cole on Using Science to Supercharge Your Relaxation

How can you get the most from your restorative poses? That’s a question that Roger Cole and I explore on this episode.

Roger Cole is an internationally recognized, certified Iyengar Yoga teacher who has been teaching since 1975. He is also an accomplished scientist educated at Stanford University and the University of California, with specialties in the science of relaxation, sleep, and circadian rhythms.

In this interview, Roger explains how to use the Baro Reflex to maximize relaxation in restorative yoga poses. As he puts it, there is not one single system that is responsible for relaxation — in yoga classes, we often focus on the nervous system. But, if you “gang up a lot of factors that promote relaxation,” you’re more likely to go deeper and feel more restored afterward. We also talk about that time he took B.K.S. Iyengar to a lab and tested his breathing (with interesting, if imperfect results), and a possible reason that inversions promote relaxation.

Scroll down for the videos we mention in the interview and photos of Roger’s Shoulderstand and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose).


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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
For an explanation of how stress affects the nervous system written by Roger: The Effect of Stress on Your Body

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