6/21/2017 0 Comments
If you have had an injury or just trying to slowly get back into shape, did you know that our Restorative Yoga class might help you? Not sure you even want to try yoga? Check out this article (from New Zealand) and you might change your mind.
We try: Restorative yoga - exercise for the inactive
Last updated 05:00, June 18 2017
Good news for the inactive — restorative yoga allows you to get healthier by practically doing nothing at all. I signed up with Auckland's Contemporary Yoga Centre to attempt the sleepiest of all the yogas.
Restorative yoga isn't your typical method of sun saluting. It's part yoga, part meditation, and at times, part snoozing. Inspired by the work of B.K.S. Iyengar — the yoga maestro who trailblazed drawn-out poses and the use of props to support the body — the practice uses blankets and large sausage-shaped yoga pillows (or bolsters) to assist with poses that are held for extremely long periods of time.
In your average one-hour class only 2-4 postures are actually practised; participants can lounge in poses from anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes.
GIVING IT A BASH
Several folded blankets lay on the floor at Auckland's Contemporary Yoga Centre or The Cave.
At my nest of fabric, restorative yoga advocate and teacher Karla Brodie assists me into the start resting position before the class even begins. My head rests on a neat blanket square while another is spread across my upper body.
The student next to me was already deep in a nap. After some focussed breathing, the lights dim and we commence with a round of introductions. Attendance reasons vary from seeking enlightenment to simply looking for an escape from the hustle of life.
Karla suggests that the practice is similar to origami due to the time spent folding blankets.
The first posture is a variation of the common "legs-up-the-wall pose" (Viprita Korani), using inversion to align the spine and allow for the maximum flow of blood. The feet are raised with a bolster before several sizes of blankets are folded, tied and folded again for a supportive base.
Once lying in position, Karla completes the experience by adding and adjusting several more blankets, including an eye cover. It's basically like being tucked into bed. The comforting experience is completed with some meditative commentary that story-tells its way through the cycle of breathing and the appreciation and focus of singular body parts. A soundtrack of snoring kicks-off throughout the space.
The second posture is a supported "child's pose". We arrange our sausage-bolster and blankets into another foundation to allow for maximum support while lying on our stomachs. The relaxation is deep with this one and it glides by — with no concept of time, we may have been in this position for around 25 minutes. The posture is cut short by a tiny gong announcing the completion of the class. Returning to Earth, Karla mentions that the class may trigger an increase in energy or entering a dreamy state. The drowsy, comatose feeling is immediately evident. I leave with a cup of sleepy tea and fall asleep that night before even touching the pillow.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT
Restorative yoga could be the ultimate remedy for restless sleepers. Karla Brodie says that participants often comment they have the best night's sleep after a class. "The deeply nourishing and restful approach to yoga supports easeful breathing, good digestion and a settled nervous system. The practice is a powerful antidote to high levels of stress, anxiety and fatigue both mental and physical. Through regular practice of restorative yoga we can cultivate a fitness of being present and calm."
There are more risks actually getting to the studio than encountering anything of great danger in a class of restorative yoga. Karla suggests that the only thing people should be worried about is falling asleep, "Especially if a participant is riding life with elevated levels of stress and a layer of fatigue beneath."