Restorative Yoga is a nice alternative to reduce our busy train of thoughts… today, I experienced a 2 hrs workshop with Kate Cowen just to re-discover the power of performing certain poses in a supportive environment where every single part of my body is resting on a prop, being a block, bolster, mat or pillow, and reminds me that Yoga can truly be a holistic experience, as it can give you a really strong work out which would burn calories equivalent to a long run, but also can take you through the most relaxing journey using eye bags to shut down the external world.
As I arrived to the studio, I found a busy teacher preparing with detail all the props, mats, pillows, bolsters, blankets, eye bags needed for the practice!, all I had to do was to lie down and travel within… following the instruction to gentle open the hips, chest and back, while remaining lying down with eyes closed.
I found the chest openers to be particularly powerful, as they gradually opened my heart in a very gentle way, without sweating or trying to execute more complex backbends, the effect of lying down supported for a certain amount of time was the release of emotions that I held back…, which reminded me of the warning the Yoga teacher did a the beginning: just let your emotions flow… let them happen.. and that is exactly what I did!
Although I still prefer a more active practice combined with periods of relaxation, grounding and centering (as this is the way I teach my Hatha Yoga classes), the effect of an extended relaxing practice should not be underestimated, and we should actually seek to include these long moments of physical stillness that will take the practitioner on an inward journey, acknowledging and processing emotions that otherwise might go un-noticed, and most importantly, allowing ourselves the time to relax... do nothing, just being!. Thanks Kate for the experience!
Yoga can act at so many levels… and all we can do is let it do the job…
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.