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Restorative Yoga

What is Restorative Yoga?

At Yoga West, our Hatha yoga classes begin and end with Restorative poses, with the active poses in the middle. However, in a Restorative class, the entire practice consists of restorative poses. The development of Restorative Yoga is credited to B.K.S.Iyengar of Pune, India. During Mr Iyengar's formative years, he was quite sickly, and to keep abreast with other students, he experimented with "props", modifying poses so that he could practice without too much strain. He used the props to recover from his illness and injury. Mr. Iyengar is now 90 years of age and has been teaching yoga since he was in his early twenties.

Restorative Yoga can help to relieve chronic stress in several ways:
  1. By the use of "props" (blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, etc) to provide a safe and supportive environment to aid total relaxation
  2. The sequences are designed in such a way as to move the spine in all directions. Some poses are backbends, others forward bends, twists or inversions.
    The sequences usually includes an inversion, which reverses the effect of gravity. In this way circulation is improved and heart function is enhanced.
  3. Restorative Yoga alternately stimulates and soothes the organs with the different poses
  4. Restorative Yoga teaches us that the body is permeated with energy: PRANA which is the masculine energy which resides above the diaphragm, moves upward and controls respiration and heart rate. APANA, the feminin energy, resides below the diaphragm and moves downward and controls the function of the abdominal organs. This practice restores the balance of the two energies, so that the student is neither overstimulated nor depleted.
Restorative Yoga is for everyone. Each pose is individualised to suit any injury or tightness. This practice is recommended for those who practice the more dynamic yoga practises such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa or General Hatha regularly. Restorative Yoga will bring BALANCE to the body by taking us deeper into our selves, finding out how to use our breath and to feel sensations and find our soul.

Ref: "Relax and Renew" by Judith Lasater

The practice will be led by Kim Beaver.

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