Restorative

Goddess with props

Goddess pose

Contrary to popular belief, restorative yoga can have many of the same benefits of an active yoga practice but requires a whole lot less energy and with the added benefit of leaving us rejuvenated.

The vast majority of us have to deal with much more stress than is healthy for us.  City living in itself places an enormous burden on our nervous system and society then adds further pressures.  There is no question that modern life is non-stop and exhausting.

Restorative yoga balances our systems by supporting the body with props so that we can relax deeply.  With the body supported, physical, mental and emotional tensions can then start to release.  Blood pressure and heart rate lower and brain waves slow.

Restorative forward bend

Restorative forward bend

As the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for action – fight or flight) is quieted, the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for resting and digesting) is activated and muscles that would otherwise remain contracted, even during sleep can start to let go.

What to expect in a restorative class

Usually the room will be dimly lit, there may be soft music and many props will be set up or available for use.  Some classes will start with gentle asana and breath work to begin the process of release.  Others will start directly in restorative poses.

Restorative child's pose

Restorative child’s pose

Each restorative pose will be held approximately 15 minutes allowing the muscles to truly let go. Because the poses are held for such a long time, it is important to make sure you are always completely comfortable.

Occasionally teachers will also use aromatherapy oils (in the air, not on your skin).  Let your teacher know if you have any allergies that they should know about.

In our Restorative classes, we end with a guided meditation or Yoga Nidra in savasana. For more information on Yoga Nidra, go to our Yoga Nidra page.

Restorative twist

Restorative twist

 

“As a busy mother who chases a toddler most of the day, I rarely take time for myself.  Restorative yoga allows me to slow down, quiet my mind, and revive my tired body.  Afterwards I feel refreshed, relaxed and even pampered!  – Tonna M.

 

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