Let’s admit it: The moment that we have finished the dynamic part of our practice and we prepare for the restorative asanas is our best. These relieving and well-supported poses are offering us the opportunity to relax and enjoy the sweet side of life.
Of course, ideally, and according to Patanjali, all the asanas must feel as the restorative asanas: stable and pleasant. But, because at the restorative yoga all the asanas are supported with blankets, blocks or other yoga props and we stay in every pose for several minutes, they have a special ability to rejuvenate us and give us rest.
This type of yoga sometimes scares a beginner, because of all the equipment. For this reason, we give some instructions, in order to enjoy the benefits of this exercise.
Don’t avoid the yoga props. Either it is a wall or a chair, a belt or a block, they are all at your disposal in order to support you. And the more supported you are the more you will relax and the calmer you will be.
Do not rush to get into the asana. Take your time in order to make all the modifications you need to feel more comfortable. At restorative yoga, a small modification of the blanket or of the bolster can make a big difference and make an uncomfortable pose to the most comfortable pose that someone can be.
Put some restorative exercises in your daily practice, always in moderation. Usually, we leave them for the end, when our rhythm has come down and to create the proper mood for Savasana(relaxation). But sometimes, you may want to dedicate a whole practice to restorative yoga.
In case you will only do restorative exercises, dedicate some time at the start of your practice to stretch. Some light stretching will warm up your muscles and will create space inside your body. The movement also can give the chance to your body to release whatever tension before you enter the relaxation.
Even if these asanas look peaceful, they can be very challenging, because the fact that the body relaxes doesn’t mean that the mind relaxes too. The only thing you can do at this case is to be patient and to be prepared for these days that your whole existence will rebel.
In time and with practice you will feel the benefits of yoga: relaxation of the stressed body and of the chatty mind, in order to rest in the present moment and discover the peace that lays inside you.
Maria Hrisoheraki, Certified Iyengar Yoga InstructorRead More About Maria Hrisoheraki:
Maria Hrisoheraki started practicing yoga as a teenager and for many years she explored some of the most famous systems in yoga: Sivananda, Satyananda, and Yoga Works. In 2002 she came across Iyengar Yoga and was hooked immediately.
Her first class made her feel like a total beginner, stiff and sore. But she kept going and today she is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, Intermediate Junior 3.
She keeps attending Iyengar yoga teacher training courses, to fulfill her constant need for better and deeper understanding in yoga, and frequently attends Iyengar Yoga seminars with world acclaimed teachers like Penny Chaplin, Eyal Shifroni, and Carrie Owerko.
Apart from teaching and learning, she has the opportunity to contact the world by sharing her thoughts about yoga. She is active in social media and blogger at the Greek branch of Huffington Post which is one of the biggest news organizations in the world. Also, she is a columnist at “NaturaNRG”, the leading health and wellness free-press magazine in Greece. She is the foundress and owner of Pure Yoga ( www.pureyoga.gr).
Translated by Marianna Thimiaki
*Photo Credits Ioanna Pagalia www.ioannapagalia.com