Find out more about Barbara and her upcoming Restorative Yoga workshop through our Q and A below!
Hello Barbara! So, what is Restorative Yoga?
There’s a quote from the renowned Restorative Yoga teacher, Judit Lasater that I like “We work very hard in our lives, and while we may sleep, we rarely take time to relax. Restorative yoga poses help us learn to rest deeply and completely.” And that, in a nutshell is was restorative yoga is: a slow, gentle practice that will reduce stress and improve health. Various props such as bolsters, blankets and blocks are used to prop the body up in poses, allowing the whole organism to remain in a deeply relaxed state. Being held in these postures has a reparative effect on the body and allows it to drop down from a fight-or-flight response into the parasympathetic nervous system, the place where the body can heal and renew itself fully. So if you’ve been feeling stressed, fatigued or just generally out of sorts, be it from day-to-day life or perhaps from a major life event, then restorative yoga is what you need. Even those who are feeling balanced find that restorative yoga allows them to have more energy and allows them to sleep better.
Who can do Restorative Yoga?
Absolutely everyone can do restorative yoga and benefit from it! It’s great for every stage of life, body type and type of yogi, be they a complete beginner experiencing their first class or a seasoned practitioner. Every pose can be adapted to suit the individual student, ensuring they are getting the maximum benefits.
What are the benefits?
First and foremost, restorative yoga is an amazing stress-buster. It helps balance out a fast-paced lifestyle that keeps the nervous system and mind over-stimulated and reluctant to relax. Deep breathing and calming postures mean heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and emotions slow down, fostering a healthier state. It can also encourage better sleep, ward off depression and improve mental health. It is also great for maintaining flexibility and has been shown to support weight loss.
Describe your first personal experience with Restorative Yoga.
My first contact with Restorative Yoga was on my yoga teacher training course. I had worked with props before, but never with the intention of seeking a deeper form of relaxation, so the experience was a revelation for me and I was quickly hooked.
What should someone bring to a Restorative Yoga class/workshop?
An open mind and a readiness to feel completely and deeply relaxed. A cosy sweater and socks to compliment your usual yoga clothes will keep you comfy during the practice also.
What do you LOVE about Restorative Yoga?
The transformative effects of the practice are what I love most about the practice. The visible change in people from when they first arrive for a restorative workshop to when they are leaving gets me every time. It’s as if stress and anxiety are lifted from them and they are like new. As a trainee psychotherapist, I’m really interested in the body-mind connection and love to see how the mind can be worked with through this gentle physical practice.
I know you have a workshop at YogaHub this weekend, is there anything you’d like to share about it?
I’m really looking forward to the workshop, it’s always a highlight for me. It will kick off with some meditation to calm and centre the mind. Then we’ll move into some gentle movement to warm and stretch the body and then get into the restorative poses which will include backbends, forward bends, twists and passive inversions. The workshop ends with a yoga nidra, which is a deep yoga sleep and a guided meditation that induces complete and deep physical, mental and emotional relaxation. You will leave feeling restored, rejuvenated and relaxed (mentally, physically and emotionally). Throughout the workshop I’ll give guidance as to how to integrate the techniques and postures into the day-to-day life, so that deep relaxation can be experienced on a more regular basis.