By Kristine Normand
Most of the yoga community attends yoga class for the workout, the challenge, the serene environment, and to get in touch with their physical bodies. It is no surprise to hear yogis state that they have never attended a restorative yoga practice because they do not want to "just lay down." If you have not yet attempted a restorative yoga session then we challenge you to give it a try and become utterly obsessed!
Restorative yoga is a gentle practice that creates the environment to surrender deeper into asanas and bring the mind into a meditative state. If you attend yoga for the calming factor, restorative will bring you to a new level of yoga relaxation. The gentle flow allows the body to open and lengthen in various poses that are held for extended periods of time. These movements allow you to truly find your edge and be present with how your body feels.
Blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, tennis balls, wall, and sandbags are used to position the body in proper alignment for maximum benefits. This prop friendly practice helps break the “bad” prop stereotype as you find yourself stretching muscles you did not even know existed! The teachers do the work for you as they position props, offer adjustments, and ensure you are completely comfortable. Gravity takes over and relaxes your muscles and mind into almost a sleep induced state. It is not uncommon to drift in and out of conscious awareness and wake to someone snoring during class. Along with deep states of relaxation and increase in flexibility, restorative yoga also has benefits that alleviate stress, boosts the immune system, and helps develop compassion for the self and others.
Vanessa Murray teaches the regular restorative yoga practice on Sunday nights at 7. During a brief interview Vanessa expressed her passion and calling for this healing yoga that has impacted her and other practitioners lives. Vanessa states, “I love the way people melt under my hands. You see people let go of their worries, stresses, and tension they hold in their body. It is such a beautiful and opening practice. People think it’s the easiest practice in the world, but it is actually the hardest. It is hard to let go. When you are asked to lay still in silence for 10 minutes, you have to get real with yourself and look deep down. It’s hard. Things come up. You have to really look inside yourself and see yourself for who you really are. I use a lot of sensory guidance to ease you on your path towards gentle healing. The biggest thing to remember is that restorative yoga is for you and your body. It is all about self-love and self care. You cannot take care of others if you do not first take care of yourself.”
Take time for yourself during the animosity the holidays bring with a special Holiday Restorative session. Restorative yoga is the perfect time to give your body the self-love and care it craves. The environment is soothing and enriching as your body, mind, and spirit heal on both evident and subtle levels. Join Yoga Junkie Studio owners Teri Harnett and Kristy Souto for a unique 1.5-hour restorative flow. Their combined vibrant and soothing personalities create a welcoming and safe space to guide your body and mind into deep states of relaxation for healing. Come lay down with us this Saturday December 3 from 12-1:30 for this truly special event at our Crestview location as you discover you cannot live without restorative!