So that you can practise rest — away from the demands and distractions of daily life.
Just like we go to a hatha class to practice stretching and strengthening, balance and breathwork — in a restorative class we practice resting and restoring.
Rest is different to sleep, it has this beautiful layer of awareness. Each asana (pose) is a container for consciousness.
Our lives (and even downtime at home) are so busy. We're usually 'ON'. Restorative yoga is a place and space to switch 'OFF'. With nothing and no one to get up for, you are invited to surrender to gravity and ground into the mat ... into your body.
You are not active and there is no action to take. With props to support you, the practice is passive and a gateway to settling into a parasympathetic state.
Here everything slows: your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure. Life-sustaining processes like digestion are supported (and I believe, you energetically get to digest life too!).
Restorative Yoga is a slow, subtle practice — it feels like you aren't doing anything. And that's the point! You are simply being. Resting in your being-ness. Think of the word 'well-being'.
We live in a world that equates 'doing' with rewards and results. But sometimes, the best thing you can 'do' is nothing ... and the results are even more rewarding. It's almost counter intuitive to our conditioning. Perhaps that is why we resist it. Words and stories like lazy, indulgent, selfish, unproductive, waste of time might come up.
I'm learning to reframe rest.
I find that as I go deeper into my body, I almost go beyond it. Freedom in formlessness; a feeling that descends and ascends. I'm both grounded and weightless at the same time.
The benefits of Restorative Yoga are surprisingly profound — and as individual as the person practising. I'd love to hear about your experiences.