Restorative Yoga – it’s like chicken soup, watching a favourite movie or stroking your pet dog. It’s calming, soothing and comforting. For me it’s like coming back to myself. Giving myself time to simply be, time to observe my mind and body unravelling from the many strands of life.
In everyday life we are moving through a constant barrage of situations and experiences. Some good, some not so good, some challenging and others rewarding. The continual maze of life. And if we don’t stop every so often and press pause, then we don’t see the full picture with a clear perspective.
More and more people are experiencing the benefits of Restorative Yoga – out of all the different sessions I teach it’s the one more people are gravitating towards. And that includes the classes I teach at my local gym.
It gives us permission to hold ourselves in a collective space – and when teaching in a room full of people that energy is palpable – it’s as if the entire room is having a long, slow and luxurious yawn.
Which is why the IYTA Restorative Yoga training is such a joy to teach.
Can you imagine – two full days of exploring these shapes, using props and delving into the benefits of this slow-moving and mindful practice. Not only are you experiencing it first hand but you are learning how to share this with others.
I first came across Restorative Yoga while teaching Pre-natal Yoga. I used to set up the students in Reclining Goddess pose – a little like a five star version of Supta Baddha Konasana – it was totally dreamy and you knew it was good for you just by witnessing worry lines melting away like thawing snow.
Post-natally it was even more indulgent – a way to realign the body from hours of breastfeeding and rocking a fractious baby. And it made me wonder why we all couldn’t experience the joy of these poses – to coax our weary, tense bodies out of their malaise and help empty our over-full minds.
And so I began my practice. I loved exploring these poses, either in pure, unadulterated silence or with a Guided Relaxation to focus upon.
Judith Hanson Lasater has written some wonderful books which detail the most gorgeously supported poses. I’ve tried them all! I also developed my own book with around 25 poses – divided into foundation poses (with minimal props) to advanced (with additional props). This forms the basis for our two-day training.
I now tend to sprinkle a restorative yoga pose into my yoga classes – other times I will do a pure Restorative Yoga experience. It’s like a massage for the soul – and also helps us to tune into the soft flow of the breath and tranquilising pranayama techniques.
These days I have a stack of props on hand for when I need to step off the treadmill of life and come into a quiet, nurturing space. I’ll stay for a while – however long I can and then step back into the rhythm of the day renewed and refreshed.
If you would like to experience Restorative Yoga with Katie Brown (author of Guided Relaxation), then come along to our face-to-face training in Melbourne on May 14 and May 15. Details and bookings HERE.