Restorative yoga is open to all levels of experience and is an excellent way to relieve stress and enjoy long, meditative stretches. Your only focus in the class is to really let go, be present and focus on the breath.
Restorative yoga is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. In this style of yoga, you will hardly move at all, doing just a few postures in the course of an hour. It is a completely different experience than most contemporary yoga. The postures are designed to restore health and vitality and can be so restful you will feel like you have had a sleep.
Our other class styles, Ashtanga & Vinyasa flow, are an active, dynamic practice in which you move from pose to pose, building heat and increasing your strength and flexibility in equal measure. In contrast, during the long holds of restorative yoga your muscles are allowed to relax deeply. It’s a unique feeling because props, rather than your muscles, are used to support your body. Restorative classes are very mellow, making them a good complement to more active practices (as well as our busy lives) and an excellent antidote to stress. Stillness is a powerful practice.
In restorative yoga, props are used extensively to support your body so you can hold poses for longer periods of time. Postures are usually adapted from supine (lying down) or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.
What to expect in class
Prepare yourself for deep relaxation =) The lights will be dimmed, soft music played and plenty of props will be available.
After you are set up in a pose with all your props, you will hold the pose for an extended period, often up to 10 or 20 minutes. In these passive poses, the focus is on ease and release. You may even fall asleep. This can be a sign that the nervous system is re calibrating to a “rest and digest” state vs. “fight or flight.”
You will continue to focus on your breath throughout. We may only do four or five poses over the course of an entire class.
Since we will not be warming up the body in the way we would in Ashtanga or Vinyasa flow, we will wrap up warm and use extra layers and blankets to stay cosy.
At the end of the session, your body will feel open and refreshed. You may even be a little sore the next day from the deep stretching. Restorative yoga can help:
- heal the effects of chronic stress
- recover from illness or injury
- balance energy and quiet the mind
Look out for the next restorative pop-up class via the workshops page.