The Beauty of Restorative Yoga
by Lisa Smith
This morning I was chatting to a friend who teaches Ashtanga and Vinyasa in Oxford. He’s just come back from a Yin Teacher Training in Bali and was saying how amazing it was (Bali that is… but also Yin Yoga!)) and how he felt so connected to himself for the first time in ages and had let go of so much anxiety after a couple of weeks of Yin Yoga practice. We lead very ‘Yang’ lifestyles, hectic, fast paced, high stress and anxiety and while there is of course benefit in yang style practice ie dynamic/Vinyasa/Ashtanga, we all benefit so much from dropping into our bodies and mind for some beautiful, nurturing Yin style practice. Whether we choose Yin, mindfulness or restorative Yoga these practices are perfect for slowing down and showing ourselves a bit of love and compassion.
The great thing is we don’t need to go to Bali to find this… Ok it would be nice! But we still need to keep the practice up when we come home and joining Restorative and Yin classes or workshops give us that perfect opportunity. In these classes we hold poses for a longer amount of time, usually around 6 poses per class in holds of up to 10 minutes (Yin is usually 3-5 minutes). While in the pose, and getting the opportunity for a long held release of physical tension, we can drop into our mind space and using mindfulness and gently led relaxation cues begin to let go of the mental and emotional clutter we carry with us. Stress and anxiety is caused by our fight or flight response kicking into action and our adrenaline going up, restorative practice is the perfect counter balance to this. By triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for balancing and re-energising the whole body, you experience a lower heart rate and blood pressure, in turn reducing stress and anxiety.
Want to try for yourself? Join us!
NEW CLASS! Wednesday evening 8.30-9.30pm – Restorative and Yoga Nidra with Jacqui
Saturday 10th February 3.30-5.30pm – Restorative Yoga and Deep Relaxation with Emma
Saturday 17th February 3-5pm – Calming Yin Yoga with Laura (as part of our Valentine’s offer bring a friend for half price – use promotional code at the checkout ‘Valentine50’)