This is not your typical yoga class.
Restorative yoga places emphasis on restoration, and relaxation, and is wonderful for those who have injuries, illness or deal with lots of stress. That’s just about everyone. And it is for everyone. We aren’t standing on our head.
In restorative yoga, we cultivate openness, and ease. One is completely supported in each pose, allowing the student to settle in, and let gravity take over. Once we get into a posture, we cue deep breathing, and let nature do the work.
Restorative yoga is typically known as the yummy practice, the luxurious practice, the one you do every now and then because you need a treat, like having a massage. But much more can happen in a restorative class. Really, it’s a very advanced practice.
It is an extremely challenging practice. I believe this is because we do not live in a society that treasures rest. We are taught, and encouraged to do! Work hard!! Achieve!!! But all of that takes a ton of effort. We aren’t encouraged to relax, to rest. That is considered lazy. But it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I myself have a very hard time committing to my restorative practice. I’m a get r done kind of girl! But my restorative class is one of my favorites.
It is unbelievably hard to sit still in a position and turn your mind off. To give your brain a chance to relax. Most of us do not even realize how much work our brain constantly does, until we step into a restorative yoga class.
One of my fabulous clients is an amazing realtor. She is a business woman who is always on the go. She came to my class, and told me that her challenge was giving herself permission to rest and relax. She was a woman who was used to getting things done!!! And here I had her rest for an hour.
Restorative practice by nature is a receptive practice, and in that receptivity you can guide yourself toward a more healthy state of being. Restorative yoga is much more like meditation or relaxation or yoga nidra than it is like hatha yoga. When you are in passive postures supported by props, using no muscular effort, the focus is on relieving the grip of muscular and inner tension, and you can be more spacious and receptive. There’s no goal of stretching or strengthening. You’re exploring what happens when you slowly release your habitual way of holding—what are you left with?-Jillian Pransky
When we take the time to properly rest, we not only relax our bodies, but our minds. By relaxing our mind, we give ourselves the opportunity to check in. To bring some mindfulness to our day and our actions. To download all of the stimulus from the day and give ourselves a chance to be. And you know what else: One develops flexibility. One learns to cultivate openness. One learns to be still. From there, meditation happens. Sometimes spontaneously.
Toward the end of my restorative classes, there is a transformation in the room. My students, often rushing in to class from work or home responsibilities, are still. They do not move. They are not focused on me. They are focused on themselves. They have gone inward. They are meditating, and restoring themselves. I am so blessed to hold space for this practice.
So. . . if this sounds intriguing to you. . . or . . if this sounds scary to you. . . it’s a sign you might want to check out my workshop. I would love to have you. I also teach restorative yoga Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. Come. and Treat yo’self.