A restorative yoga sequence typically involves less postures, much less focus on heat & dynamic strength. Instead its aim is to help students unwind both physically & emotionally. I personally find restorative classes much more challenging than the strong dynamic Asana based classes of Vinyasa, Classical Astanga & modern Power Yoga because it requires a strength we aren’t well equipped with in our western culture. Having the strength to completely surrender & let go can be much more challenging than handstands, Chaturanga or any of the Warriors for most people. In our society we associate over coming the challenge of something physically demanding or hard tough environments with great benefit and so we usually give those situations more of our energy. The incessant need for the perfect body, being physically stronger or this misguided notion that its survival of the fittest has meant we find it hard to appreciate the greater strength required to let go or surrender. This doesn’t mean to give up in an idle lazy way that we at first think. Rather it requires us to not hold back or to continue to cling to fragments of the human condition-fear, doubt, worry or anger. When you take part in a restorative class you are faced with yourself more than any other time in your week. If you think about it how much time do you spend with you? No partner, no family, no children, no stressed out boss & not even the TV! Its not an easy experience but its one of the most rewarding.
We can experience this surrender in a physical way during a restorative class. The first few moments in class our minds are racing with all sorts of distractions and responsibilities and we feel this in the muscles of the body. We feel a resistance or rigidness in the tissue, in fact sometimes it feels like we are wrestling with ourselves and we can be drawn into that modern western thinking – push harder, more force, more, more, more! Thats the moment the really beautiful element of a restorative practice can be found. Spending those extra moments in the Asana gives you an opportunity to stop the pushing & instead let go! Completely surrender to the breath, to whatever the moment brings & you experience the tensions begin to let go. It seems a paradox that to go further you stop pushing forwards but it most definitely happens. Then the next beautiful thing happens, you learn more about you. Physically & mentally. It feels uncomfortable to just let go. The silence can feel even more unnerving but from this moment on you will grow in a strength that is often overlooked in the more dynamic classes until right at the end.
Your told to be stronger, fast harder & so you spend the week building up the body with food & sometimes even intense bursts of exercise. You build up the barriers of protection mentally and emotionally at home & work so you don’t crumble in front of the boss or the kids as things get tough. What you really need & lack is care & some self love. This class is your opportunity to break those walls back down. Let GO! Surrender to whatever the moment brings, breathe and restore the YOU inside you.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
We have beautiful Flowing Restorative Classes throughout the week. If you have never been before register online & use promo code freehotyogapass at the check out to book a free trail or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org & I will give you some further advice on which class is right for you.
Monday 9:15am Hot Hatha Flow with Rania
Wednesday 9:15am Hot Restorative Yoga with Stuart
Wednesday 6:30pm Hot Restorative Yoga (perfect for beginners)
Thursday 7:30pm Hot Restorative Flow Yoga with Hazel