Discover the joy of Restorative Yoga
Posted by Amber Phipps, 22-Apr-2020
My restorative yoga journey began many years ago when I introduced some poses within my pre-natal yoga class… at first the students were a little
bemused when I demonstrated Reclining Goddess – suddenly we were more like engineers than yogis – using blocks like building bricks and carefully folding blankets.
But it didn’t take long for the students to crave the poses. Within a couple of sessions they were easing their aching shoulders over an inclined bolster
– enjoying the seemingly instant relief from bothersome heartburn.
Blankets would be beautifully wrapped around feet and legs – the weight promoting a sense of security and safety. And as the tips of thumbs lightly touched index fingers in Gyana Mudra, minds would begin to let go, inviting a gentle slide into the natural rhythm of their breath and body…
After five to ten minutes I’d coax the students out of the shape, but most simply wanted to stay put in the loving embrace of the earth.
And that’s when I could see the true beauty of Restorative Yoga. A practice which gives you time to explore the physical body, truly connect with your
energy levels, to sit with your emotions – suspending judgment and expectations.
As the pose was held it was an opportunity to explore more deeply – to connect with the intellectual and spiritual bodies… and in time noticing
muscular tension dissolving, heart rates slowing and frustration evaporating.
I found myself bringing Restorative Yoga poses into my general classes too. It became standard practice to use blankets and blocks to fill in gaps within
postures, to create support, comfort, stillness and softness.
To practice Ahimsa – kindness, especially in this crazy, busy world where we are all overscheduled and overwhelmed.
Personally and professionally I have embraced this practice wholeheartedly.
Now in my general classes I teach a blend of Hatha postures and practices with Restorative Yoga movements and shapes. I also teach specific Restorative Yoga classes – connected with the season or perhaps with an issue such as anxiety.
And I’ve been lucky enough to create a two-day course in this beautifully nurturing practice for the IYTA. The first day focuses on understanding what
Restorative Yoga is, exploring stress and how it affects the mind and body, the benefits of this practice and setting up a safe space. The second day focuses on poses which require more props –how to use the props as well as teaching practice and tools to explore within each pose.
It’s a wonderful two day retreat – where you will rest, rejuvenate and relax at the same time as discovering new techniques and tips to integrate Restorative Yoga into your general, yin, pre and post-natal classes and run specific Restorative Yoga classes.
Here are a couple of comments from students who attended our recent training:
“I loved the lecturer’s positivity and personable presentation. A perfect balance of practice and theory – hard to attain.
The audio lecture pre-course was outstanding to set the academic scene. Excellent. The content of power point/presentation was succinct, achievable and questions were thoroughly answered.”
“Katie has a lovely calming manner and a wealth of knowledge about restorative yoga. I’m very relaxed and I’m sure my students will be too.”
Upcoming Restorative Courses