Pooped after 2020 craziest events, Christmas & New Year ? Time to put your feet up ! Here is an invitation for you to slow down, rest and recharge your batteries to leave you feeling restored and refreshed. Sounds boring ? Read on…
“Without a doubt, the need for restorative yoga is great in today’s exhausting and time-pressured world. Countless studies show the ill effects of stress on the mind, body and spirit. We all need a few minutes a day to disconnect, settle into ourselves and rest in silence.” Judith Hanson Lasater
Yoga is a philosophy, science and an art, first described in old Sanskrit texts – the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. Yoga is ancient, and yet so relevant to us in a modern frenetic world. It allows us time to return to our body and reconnect with ourselves. The word yoga is generally translated as joining or union. Yoga is a journey of exploration of the body & mind with the breath. It connects mind, body and spirit. It helps us to quieten the mind and find balance.
Often, we can get distracted and pulled in all directions in life by everything that goes around us in the world. And boy, there is plenty right now. This affects our balance and wellbeing at all levels. We can lose sight of our centre and a sense of being lost. We need to regroup and ground ourselves. We do so by reconnecting with our “self”. We cannot give or support anyone if our own “jar of cookies is empty”. It is so important to look after oneself first to rest and recharge our batteries so to speak. Often, we come last and resting comes last on our “To do list” which often gets squeezed out as we ran out of time because we have so much to do. An endless list. Restorative yoga asks us to disengage from it all, pause, breathe, come back to our centre to look deep within befriending ourselves. We learn to care for ourselves by “being here” and letting go.
Our body, mind and nervous system needs soothing. In yoga, we talked about “Prathyahara” restorative yoga, we learn to pull back, withdraw our senses from the outside world to tune into our inner world, to our centre to rest and restore ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally by just coming back to a mode of “being”. We "check in" on ourselves and become the observer.
As Judith Hanson Lasater, the queen of restorative yoga says, “we use props to create positions of ease and comfort that facilitate relaxation and health. Restorative yoga is about opening not stretching.” The props allow us to feel completely supported so we are able to consciously let go and rest. This is a neurological response. We learn to be here in the present moment with ourselves and for ourselves. We start to allow tensions to melt away layer by layer and breathe.
Restorative yoga is an act of kindness and love. “Ahimsa” in the yoga philosophy comes as our top priority on the list. It means non-violence. In other words, how can we express love and kindness towards others and oneself on a daily basis to feel good for sure but also to create a better world around us. How about learning to nourish and nurture ourselves with love. A session of restorative yoga can work wonders. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
By using the breath and choosing carefully selected poses, short term and long-term health benefits are numerous. The practice changes the body physiology including lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, decreased release of stress hormones, stress relief, enhanced mental and physical energy and better immunity. It is great to alleviate stress, anxiety, mild depression, fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, backaches etc. The list goes on. More to the point, it stills a busy mind and deeply relaxes the body. It restores the body to its parasympathetic nervous system function, which, in turn, helps the body rest, heal, and restore balance. By allowing time for longer asanas (postures or poses) and deeper breathing, restorative yoga helps elicit the relaxation response. You truly feel refreshed and rested as if you had been on “holiday” somewhere in the sun. Just as good as a good night’s sleep !
Restorative yoga is a practice in and of itself for people of all ages and backgrounds.
The art of learning to become still is one of the most challenging things we can do and yet the most rewarding. Restorative yoga is a form of meditation. “Layers of tension melt away as you learn to be present to what is happening in the body and mind in each moment”. J Lasater.
I am hosting a Restorative yoga workshop Saturday 30th January 2021 10-12 UK time. A blend of breath work, somatics and restorative yoga. To book your space, pls drop an email to email@example.com by Friday evening latest to receive your zoom link.
To find out more, check www.yogawithbelle.co.uk Info & prices under my website events page.