Nov 6, 2013

The Art of Pause & Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga is a crucial part of a balanced yoga practice. If all we push ourselves toward is a rigorous practice, there is a danger of feeling overworked, overbearing, rigid & uptight if we do not balance this with the soothing, nourishing, watery, spacious qualities of stillness & quiet.

Belief it or not, restorative poses can be challenging even if the pictures make it look so savory. Although the body is set up in gentle long held pauses, the mind can be fast at work, doing it's habitual best to avoid checking in more deeply & slowing down. The mind receives training in a restorative class also. It too gets tamed with the reigns of "being" just like a meditation practice does.

                                                                         Viparita Karani. Inverted lake pose.

The winter is an especially comforting time to give the body moments of relief after the possible fatigue of an active summer, as is anyone in intense seasons of their lives consumed by busyness and the weight of daily responsibility. It is also vital for those going through minor sickness, the need of a cleanse & rest of all the systems and organs of the body, for major illness,  for injury recovery, or addiction recovery. I have found some of the most profound affects on yogis were those recovering from addiction. We are all addicts really . Once we check in, settle and slow down we realize this. Restorative yoga will give one the chance to go deeper & operate more methodically with profound, effective and supportive means as we discharge anxiousness and an over active nervous system/mind. This can free oneself of restlessness,  repressed energy, a current grief, or a future worry.

I suggest one Restorative Yoga class per week to give yourself the renewal and release you need to support everything else you do. The energy freed up in restorative yoga is like getting a massage. Often for most, getting ourselves in a setting that is quiet, more introspective & healing is the perfect medicine we need for balanced life, free of all the outer stimuli, social expectation or distraction. I also suggest  one restorative pose per day, which you will learn by coming to class with the use of various props.  This will balance your asana practice and help support your meditation, dharma, and bhakti practices where stillness of the body is often required, as is sitting for long periods of time without being uncomfortable.

Restorative Yoga helps to teach us how to be receptive in a culture that is often training us to export  tremendous amounts of output . Our restorative yoga classes at Swan River also offer Thai Therapeutics with the healing power of touch. There are numerous studies that go into the enhanced mental health of a human by daily healing, loving touch.  Restorative Yoga reminds us how crucial it is to free ourself of  smaller holdings in the body & deeper imprinted discomforts so that we can work them out carefully, thoughtfully & slowly, freeing their roots. In time, the mind will stop rambling, you will fidget or pick your cell phone up in your life less,  & be more present to the moment. You will be sensitive &  receptive in all situations, but most importantly the present one, which is all you really have.

                                                                                       The Art of Pause.

Swan River Yoga has 3  regular Restorative Yoga Classes:

*NEW: Sundays 6:30pm-7:45pm
Wednesdays 5:15-6:30
Thursdays 4-5pm
*Once per month Sundays 6:30-8:30 FULL Sound Bath

Teachers: Kelly Haas & Michele Baker. These teachers have training in Thai Yoga Therapeutics and Yoga Asana Therapeutics. Michele's classes will also offer the healing benefits of sound with mantra, crystal bowls & gong in every class.

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