“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” B.K.S. Iyengar – the creator of Restorative Yoga. Iyengar noticed in his classes of more active yoga styles, that students would often push themselves beyond their physical capabilities, injuring themselves in their chase to try the advanced poses. He created this practice so that we could learn to slow down and find the true benefit of yoga – physical and mental healing.
Whether you are a seasoned yogi, or are just beginning your exploration of the practice, restorative yoga offers many benefits. What is restorative yoga? It is a receptive practice, as opposed to an active practice, where you are supported in a way that you feel you can “let go” into the pose.
On a physical level, restorative yoga offers the body a time to relax. The benefits of the poses happen on a deeper level because the poses are held longer than in your average yoga class. At the same time, props (like bolsters and blankets) are used to create comfort and ease in the poses (so that the body can unfold into the pose), instead of creating tension that can often come with a deep stretch. During this quiet time, the body can begin to rejuvenate and restore itself, meaning that restorative yoga is the ideal practice to help relieve cold and flu symptoms, provide headache relief, and to give you more energy.
Our society tells us that we must always be on the go. Because of this, it is normal to feel resistance to not ‘doing’ something while practicing yoga, and we sometimes feel that unless the activity is hard, that it isn’t worth it. As we get more comfortable with stillness and our bodies relax, we begin to find the psychological benefits of restorative yoga. The support of the props, the warmth, comfort and ease in the body, and the steady rhythm of your breathing will allow the mind to start relaxing. Here, we find a new sense of connection to our presence and ourselves in the moment.
Being a very gentle practice, restorative yoga is accessible and beneficial for many health conditions, including depression and anxiety, Crohn’s and irritable bowel syndrome, strokes and Alzheimer’s, menopause, insomnia, osteoporosis, and pregnancy.
If you would like to try our Restorative Yoga class please contact us to pre-register. We welcome you to join us in January to begin your journey to the present.
~ Alisha Adams