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.
Do you love straps and want new ways to use them? Or are they a pain to set up for you or your students? This tutorial will set you straight and set you up to make straps easy and fun to use. Straps can give you stability in your joints as you deepen your stretch. They can provide resistance to press into to cultivate strength. You decide whether you want a strap to do the work for you or help you work more. So get your strap on and make good choices ;)
Here's a practice for when you're on the road and away from your props! You can still get a restful session even if you've left your bolsters at home :) This practice is all about allowing yourself to be as you are. Breathe in Peace, then send peace back out into the world. This is a great session anytime you want to calm your nervous system, it's a beautiful before-bed practice, and it's an opportunity to slow down, meditate and open.
Perfect for the end of a tough day, times when you're feeling depleted and/or stressed out, end of a travel day, nights when you struggle with insomnia, or paired with a shorter vigorous flow (we filmed this after Rise, Shine, Energize). Sometimes we walk around as if we're supposed to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders or store tons of stuff in our hips, but it's always good to get that tension out of your body! Lots of attention given to the shoulders and hips. Enjoy x(Props are nice if you have them, but you can make this work with a firm couch pillow, a stack of books and a tie or long belt from a robe :))
When you're not in the mood to do anything and you know moving will (almost always) make you feel better, get some props and roll around on your mat - or your bed?! This hip-opening session has your hips on a blanket for extra traction in your lower back. Rocking around on the blanket is a super sweet way to massage your lower back. Enjoy opening your whole body with minimal effort and maximum support! Make sure you have blocks/bolster/support to place your feet on to avoid over-stretching the front body and compressing the back body so you truly feel equanimous - open and at ease.
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.