It’s time for restorative yoga - yoga blog 20 Nov

If you feel sometimes just too tired to think about an active yoga session, or you’ve come home and just feel like flopping into a chair with a cup of tea, or something stronger ….

Restorative yoga can be just the tonic you and your body need.

Props such as bolsters, blankets, yoga blocks and eye pillows are used to help place the body in various yoga positions that are totally supported. As well ensuring you are totally comfortable, they can help hold you safely, enabling you feel safe to let go - the first steps to a deep state of relaxation.

How does it work?

The varying stresses and events of the day mean we tend to hold ourselves in a constant state of  alert. As a result, the body loses the capacity to rest and recover physically, mentally and emotionally.  The antidote to stress is relaxation - restorative yoga helps us get there, by holding the body still, but in a gentle asana position, with the focus turned inwards to the flow of the breath. The brain starts to slow down and the mind becomes quiet. 

Here is a reminder of supported Fish Pose which we practised this week:

Roll a firm blanket into a cylinder; use a bolster; or place two yoga blocks behind you where you think your shoulder blades will rest when you lie back with a third across to make a T-shape. (Adjust for what your body needs; start low, perhaps increasing the height as your body allows.) Sit a little in front of the bolster or blocks and gently release backwards, ensuring your head is supported on the headrest, with the shoulders resting on the support.  Once comfortable, you can press the soles of the feet together and allow the knees to fall apart, with yours arms relaxed on either side of you. You can support the knees by placing cushions underneath each leg. Take 10 deep breaths, close the eyes, and then follow the breath as you relax and soften into the pose.

Did you know It takes at least 10 minutes for the average person to fall into a relaxed state? Healing is not just a physical activity, but involves deep awareness of the mind and spirit as well.