Restorative Yoga

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”

During my day I rarely sit calmly without any distractions.  If I am taking a break, I click around on my iPad or watch TV.  I never meditated and find it uncomfortable to just sit silently in my house.  I am thinking about my next chore or hearing the dishwasher run.  My mind begins to think about the next item on my checklist and I cannot relax.  In general I think our lives are loud, busy and fast paced.  There are always things to accomplish.  I have been loving my yoga practice because it causes me to just stop…breathe…focus.

I was doing yoga at home on occasion but was not consistent with it.  I joined a yoga studio over a month ago and I have found it incredibly helpful.  It is a silent, calm, dark space that is away from anything that I need to do.  I can also explore different types of yoga.  I was introduced to Restorative Yoga which is based on Yin Yoga.  It was different than any other class that I ever attended.  You hold a single pose for 3 to 5 minutes.  It ends up giving you a deeper stretch than you normally would in a yoga flow.  It works the connective tissues (tendons, fascia and ligaments) so you get a much deeper sensation and you improve your flexibility.  It worked my body and brain at the same time.  Your mind wanders from past to future but your body is still and rooted in the present.  Restorative yoga teaches you to be disciplined enough to let ideas and thoughts that flood your mind to just pass right on.  They are not aiding in your practice at that moment so just let them go.  Your focus can be on your breathe and the way your body sinks into the pose.  I have learned the most about my body in the silent moments.  I know that my right side stretches easier than my left.  I hold tension in my neck and shoulders.  In time I will witness my body change and I will reach a deeper expression of the pose.

Restorative yoga has been a key part of me having a balanced practice and life.  It is literally the opposite in ever way to my hot yoga and kickboxing.  I like to have a wide variety in my fitness routine since I see benefits in doing various types of exercises.  I always feel amazing after a yoga class.  It is like magic.  I can walk in with minor lower back pain or a tense neck and leave feeling like I have a new younger body.  It is also great for relaxation and I practice a couple of poses on my own before going to bed.

Resources

Want to try at home?  Search for “Restorative Yoga” on YouTube…My absolute favorite channel is “BrettLarkinYoga”