Workshops and classes will be more limited until 2017 as I dive deeper into my study and practice of yoga nidra and Internal Family Systems.
- I will continue offering most weekly Restorative Yoga classes (check with me for dates I will be away, but know that the teachers who substitute for me are AWESOME), at the Spirit of Yoga in Downingtown on Thursday evenings from 5:45 - 7:00,
- Enjoy guided meditation at the once monthly yoga nidra classes on the third Monday evening of the month at 6:30 PM at the beautiful Temenos Retreat. (www.TemenosCommunity.org). (6/20, 7/18, 8/15).
- Join me when I teach with Amy Weintraub, MFA, ERYT, author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists and Founder and Creator of LifeForce Yoga ® on stunning Cape Cod from July 25-29. Click here for more details.
- I will continue to offer private yoga and co-meditation sessions, as well as counseling. Please call to schedule an appointment for those.
I have gotten a few questions about Restorative Yoga, and wanted to share with you part of a hand out I offer to answer some questions you might have. I always welcome and love questions via email or by phone at610-873-0815.
Please add "Rest" to your list of things-to-do and places-to-see this summer.
What is Restorative Yoga?
"RY is a quieting, supportive, and deeply nourishing practice. Restorative poses are done by lying passively over props such as bolsters and blankets. Much like the practice of savasana, yoga nidra or deep relaxation, it is a meditative, receptive practice in which you continually let go of holding yourself up and allow yourself to be fully supported. Over time, as you relax the body over props, you are able to surrender layers of deeply held tension. You practice releasing the inner grip of the muscular, emotional, and energetic bodies." --- JIllian Pransky
Like so many yoga practices, RY can be whatever its 'teacher' decides, taking on the flavor of what is emphasized in the class. In some studios it is a variation of 'gentle' or 'beginner's' yoga. It usually includes using props to create support so that deeper relaxation can be attained, but the amount of 'propping' and the number of postures practiced varies widely. The teachers I have studied with emphasize the relaxation response and meditation as central components of this practice.
If you build it, it will come…. if we carefully set the conditions that invite and allow 'letting go', the relaxation response will come. RY gives you the opportunity to tap into the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, the 'rest and digest' component. Most of what we do and how we think in our lives reinforces the sympathetic, or 'excitatory' component that we know as our 'fight, flight or freeze' system.
What do we mean by meditation? Simply paying attention to 'what is', living in the present moment. We give the mind and our wonderful doing selves a break, thereby allowing the 'witness' or the awareness aspect of our being to unfold and develop. Being spacious awareness enhances and can transform our lives. Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga mentor us into this way of being.
We consider this to be a very advanced practice. It is challenging to stay still, settle and be with what is, moment by moment. It is natural and to be expected that all the 'stuff' we have shoved in the back of the metaphorical wagon, opportunistically comes flying back at us when we finally stop for this conscious relaxation practice. It is natural and it can be VERY uncomfortable, but it is also the key to health and well being on every level. And all it takes is practice. If you build it, it will come.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga:
The best (and scariest) way to appreciate the benefits of consistent relaxation or RY practice is to know the harmful consequences of the opposite--what happens over time as stress and stress hormones accumulate in the body. You increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, digestive diseases, depression and anxiety, insomnia and chronic fatigue. RY is designed to 'turn on' the relaxation response, discovered by Dr. Herbert Benson. This response is a neurological shift from the sympathetic (fight/flight) to the parasympathetic (rest and recharge) nervous systems that allows the body to rest and heal as blood pressure is lowered, respiration decreases, muscular tension relaxes, blood flow is increased to vital organs which improves digestion, the immune system is recharged and the 'feel good' hormones are produced.
Your experience of benefits from this practice will ultimately be the most important answer.
This guided meditation class helps you to learn to simply observe and accept "what is", and by doing so, you release tension and feel more contentment in your daily life. The more you practice, the greater its benefits, but even one experience will reveal to you the peace within that lives beneath life's ongoing stresses.
is specifically designed to manage the mood and create positive energy with a sense of abiding calm strength through the use of postures, breath and mantras. Suitable for everyone-those new to and experienced with yoga.
The Lost Art of Sleep and the Rest of your Day:
Combining the latest information from the field of integrative medicine with ancient practices from the yoga tradition, these classes offer information and instruction in yoga practice specifically designed to heal your sleep.
This class synthesizes the mountain of research proven data and presents specific strategies and practices to reduce unhealthy stress.
Right Relationship with Food,
but many people see food as the enemy and many eat when they're not hungry. This class series provides the help to re-establish a healthy relationship with food. Self-inquiry techniques and specific practides will support the changes you desire.
Any of these classes can be offered at your place of work, worship or community center.