Restorative yoga is about slowing down and allowing the body to release and relax through passive stretching with the help of bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps. It isn’t about doing, it’s about being. Because we can hold restorative poses for much longer periods of time, the body is invited to let go in a different way. Calming for the nervous system, nourishing and quieting for the mind, restorative yoga is a good place to go when you’re in need of healing and nurturing.
Releasing the hips can relieve low-back tension from extended sitting, tight hips from hiking/biking/running/living, or simply relax the mind/body by shifting the nervous system out of the stress response. This practice includes a lot of rocking movements that also quiet the nervous system, giving the body and mind just enough sensation and activity to focus on a gentle rhythm. Whether you have had a hectic day and need a relaxing practice or you have chronically tight hips that are a friend for life that you need to attend to... this session will leave you feeling relaxed, rested and spacious.
Do you need a little guidance when it comes to relaxation? Giving attention to the subtle sensations of the body can quiet the mind and allow you to settle into stillness. Add a little vetruvian man-style supported backbend to give you just enough sensation to feel the front body open as the back body sinks into support. And find yourself arriving in a place of relaxation, peaceful and at ease.
This is the final tutorial for a restorative session. All of the poses in this practice are reclining and supported. The only challenge in these poses is the prop setups. Once you get that down, this practice is all about dropping in and chilling out. You want to think Goldie Locks here and arrange the props so that they feel "just right" for you for each practice so that you can deeply rest. In the B side, you will be guided into the poses and have the luxury of time to be in these gently opening postures that allow your body and mind to relax and rejuvenate.
This final restorative practice is the one you will want when you are ready for dessert. This entire practice is filled with reclining, supported postures that allow you to nurture yourself and feel held. It's a perfect practice to slow down and reward yourself with rest after a more challenging session. AND it's the perfect way to relax deeply as a stand-alone session on a day when you feel too tired for an active practice or you just need some extra TLC. Get all of your props out and maybe grab some snuggly socks and an eye pillow to give yourself all of the support you need to truly, deeply rest.
Body Scan For a 20-Minute Nap will release stress and set you on a course toward mastering your energy so that in the middle of a busy day that's filled with activity you can take a healthy break to support balance and promote physical & mental homeostasis. Week in and week out no one is a stranger to the effects of stress, whether it comes in the form of daily responsibility in work and our personal lives, or simply the overwhelming amount of stimulation we experience through social media, information and technology. With what we know scientifically today and through our own daily practice, conscious stress management is key to remaining healthy and navigating challenges in our lives.
Feeling stiff or stagnant? Slide onto your back and join me for an easy, breezy flow that opens up all the joints. You will feel more fluid and peaceful with this simple practice, gliding the body with the breath into a state of tranquility.
Legs up the Wall is a great restorative pose to relieve tension, fatigue and swelling in the legs after a long day on your feet, on a plane or at your desk! This "reverse practice" (the English translation for the sanskrit, Viparita Karani), obviously reverses the position of the legs, which relieves the work of the circulatory system and assists drainage in the lymphatic system for therapeutic effects. Adding a block and a strap around the thighs is a great way to stabilize the pelvis for further support to relax tender backs. Slide your legs up the wall and let your mind and body settle into deep relaxation!
Want a super chill practice that opens you up with ease? Can't wait for the "now lie on your back" part of the class? Start and finish on your back in this session that has fluid movements that soften into stillness. You will open up in all directions, including a supported inversion to relieve fatigue and let you completely chill out!
When your low back is tender and you don't know what to do, give it a rest! Give yourself some TLC with a restorative practice using the wall for inversions to relieve tension in the back and also reset the nervous system. Then you will be able to get curious about what you need to do in the long term to support your low back with the stability and flexibility that create strength & freedom.