A while ago, I was introduced to the idea of Restorative Yoga. It involves using pillows, bolsters, blocks, eye pillows and sand bags to plop you into a pose and hold you there for a while--up to 15 minutes! At first I didn't get it. But recently, when returning home from a lovely trip to Italy, I was having some digestive issues--all that delicious Italian food!
So, I got out the books, did my research, sought advice from trusted colleagues, and got myself all propped up and waited for magic to happen. And it did! I did a complete 90 minute session, I loved it, and I noticed an immediate improvement in my digestion. Looking at the picture, you can see how open the belly is. So all that releasing helps the abdominal organs to settle and relax, giving them a chance to come back into balance. I included deep abdominal breathing to enhance my practice, and I also included a progressive deep relaxation at the end, the way we do in a regular Integral Yoga class.
Who should come to a restorative class? Anybody stressed out during the holidays (who isn't?), anyone wanting to try yoga but not sure if it might be too challenging for them. Restorative is helpful to folks with arthritic pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, frequent headaches, depression--that kind of stuff. It can also help promote better sleep. As we get older our sleep patterns are not as reliable as they were in our prime and the gentle opening of the body can re-educate the brain on how to settle in to a deep and uninterrupted sleep.
Satya Yoga studio in Saugatuck has put Restorative on the schedule--Fridays at 5:45pm. No class December 23--you'll be busy baking cookies. Check the schedule again in January, we'll be starting up again. Let me know in the comments section if you need more information.
I've been teaching Yoga for almost 40 years, and I've learned a thing or two, primarily, how to address the issue of moving safely in an older, bigger, or injured body. Big Yoga covers it all!