Rest, Relax & Refresh with Restorative Yoga

A lot of my posts are inspired by other people.  Your questions and feedback are highly valued, so thank you!

A recent question was related to Restorative Yoga (from a lovely lady; fellow St Helenian ūüôā ) Read on to know more about restorative yoga.¬† I will follow-up this post with some visuals and demos, so stay tuned and subscribe to this blog¬†here and follow Pranalistic on social:¬† Instagram¬†&¬†Facebook

It’s a shame that many people avoid restorative yoga¬†because they’re more interested in the ‚Äėno pain ‚Äď no gain‚Äô kind of exercises that make you sweat and up your heart rate.¬† But there’s always a time to offer your body and mind a¬†restorative yoga practice.¬† It offers a very peaceful, relaxed way of exercising and moving the body.¬† It can also provide deep relaxation, lower blood pressure, promotes better sleep and loosens hips and spine.

The key steps to restorative yoga:

  • Relax your body and muscles
  • Slow, lengthen and deepen your breath
  • Calm your mind

A restorative yoga sequence typically involves only 5/6 poses, supported by props (pillows/blankets) that allow you to completely relax and rest.  Restorative yoga poses include very gentle twists, seated forward folds, and gently supported backbends.

Key restorative poses include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Hero pose¬†
  • Seated Cat & Cow poses
  • Sleeping Pigeon pose
  • Supine spinal twist pose
  • Supported fish pose
  • Reclining Bound angle pose
  • Bridge pose
  • Supported forward fold pose
  • Legs up the wall pose
  • Happy baby pose
  • Savasana

Restorative Yoga tips:

What makes each yoga pose a ‘restorative pose’ is how you approach it.¬† ¬†

Think of it as passive stretching.   

By laying in restorative poses, you bring your attention to the areas of your body that are holding tension.  Once you realise where you hold tension, instead of trying to fix or change it, simply bring your breath to that area.   

Aim to stay in each pose for 3‚Äď10 minutes, and come out when you feel you‚Äôve had enough.¬† ¬†

You may wish to use a soft bolster, folded blanket or pillows for added support and relaxation.  For example, placing a block beneath each knee (horizontally) or a rolled-up blanket on top for additional support. Placing a folded towel beneath your head for support and/or with a rolled towel/blanket cradling your neck’s natural curve.  Play with props to allow yourself to get really comfortable.   

Take several long breaths to progressively release all of your body weight and focus on your breathing.  

10 Signs That You Need Restorative Yoga in Your Life 

  1. You struggle falling asleep
  2. You suffer from aches & pains
  3. You feel tired when you wake up in the morning
  4. You’re always angry!
  5. You mind is always racing at 100mph!
  6. You’re tired of all the drama life brings you
  7. You have an injury and you just ‚Äúpush through it‚ÄĚ without letting it heal
  8. You want a little less chaos in your life 
  9. You’re addicted to your smartphone!¬†
  10. You need to recharge

Most of us are living a high-intensity life; always juggling too many activities. This can be too much for what our bodies were made for and can account for a lot of the aches, pains, and sickness you may be experiencing in your day-to-day life.¬†¬†Maybe the most beneficial exercise for you is the one that lets you experience the state of ‚Äėnot-doing‚Äô and restore your body.

Benefits:

  • Heals emotional pain
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Aids sleep
  • Prevents injury
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Provides a bridge to meditation
  • Cultivates heightened body awareness
  • Deepens self-awareness & introspection
  • Connects you with the Divine within (by awakening grace, poise, flexibility, balance, strength, and present moment awareness. This combination creates a mind and body ideally suited for seamlessly merging into the non-local field of awareness, or pure being.)

Give it a go!

TIP:  Simply lying as flat as you are comfortable and belly (diaphragmatic) breathing for a few minutes is a good place to start.

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Pose of the week: Crow Pose (bakasana)

For newbies, crow pose can seem a bit intimidating.  Yet, mastering this move is easier than you might think.

After pitching forward from a squat position or garland pose, you’ll need to balance your whole body weight on just your hands, with your knees resting near your armpits. ¬†You need to build up your arm strength, balance and core work but once you have, it will feel almost effortless. ¬†So the secret to achieving this pose lies in strengthening and stretching a few key areas. ¬†To build up to a good crow pose, I suggest doing deep squats, reverse squats and modified crow before attempting this pose.

Modified crow:

  • Get into deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out and heels on the ground.
  • With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  • Elbows pulled in near the sides of your body, then transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air.
  • Lift one foot of the ground, then return it to the mat. ¬†Repeat on opposite side.

Tips for a good crow pose:

  • Back is rounded as intercostal muscles lift and hold legs up
  • Core is strongly engaged and navel is drawn in
  • Knees as high up the arms as you can get them
  • Elbows in line with the wrists
  • Upper body is leaning forward
  • Hands¬†particularly the finger tips and roots are firmly plugged into the ground
  • Gaze is about 3 feet out in front
  • heels hugging up
  • Legs squeezing together

Put ¬†a pillow or some blankets in front of your mat in case you’re scared of falling flat on your face!

Be patient with this pose.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens arms and shoulders
  • Builds abdominal strength
  • Releases back muscles
  • Tones the abdominal organs
  • Opens the groin
  • Encourages body awareness and honing in on the mind-body connection while flying in the air.

Final week of yoga classes… Get your cardio on with Vinyasa Yoga!

Vinyasa (pronounced ‚Äúvin-yah-sah‚ÄĚ) is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as ‚Äúto place in a special way,‚ÄĚ referring to a sequence of poses. ¬†Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices.

Vinyasa Yoga classes follow a specific sequence of breath-synchronized movements used to transition between sustained postures.   Thus, vinyasa yoga is more fast-paced than Hatha yoga.  It warms and energises the body quickly and strengthens and tones the upper-body.

If you’re up for something a bit more cardiovascular then this class is for you!  Come and join me outdoors on Wednesday or Thursday for Vinyasa Yoga Flow for Beginners Class

Dates: Wednesday 11th January & Thursday 12th January

Place: Rosemary Plain, St Pauls (weather permitting)

Time:  4:45pm

Bring your mat, towel, water and a positive attitude!

Link to this article to understand some of the benefits of Vinyasa Yoga.

 

Sadly, this will also be my final week of yoga classes so I hope to see as many of my regulars there as possible.

I will be posting some information/online resources before I leave to make it easier for all of you to continue with what we’ve practiced thus far.

See you at Rosemary Plain this week… be ready for Downward Dogs, Chaturangas and Upward Dogs!!

 

New Year yoga classes!

A BIG thank you again to everyone who joined the post-Christmas morning yoga classes. ¬†It was amazing to see a great turnout on Tuesday 27th December. ¬†Wonderful¬†to see a few new faces as well ūüôā

Apologies if I didn’t reply to your recent emails but I’ve been without Internet for a while.  You can also send me a message on my local mobile number:  +290 65121

By the way, someone left a pair of grey trousers and a black and white checked top at the Hall, which I picked up and have had with me since before Christmas. ¬†Do contact me to let me know if it’s yours!

Next week we will revert to the afternoon times, therefore please save the following dates for next week’s Hatha yoga classes:

Tuesday, 3rd January, 5:00pm at the Baptist Hall, Jamestown

Thursday, 5th January, 5:00pm at the Baptist Hall, Jamestown

I will offer a vinyasa yoga class for beginners the week commencing 8th January.  This class will be a quicker-paced session and will require a lot of body strength so please bring a towel and some water.

Please contact me to confirm whether/when you can make it this week.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Namaste.

Ready for post-Christmas yoga classes?

Hey everyone! ¬†A great turnout again this week – thank you all for coming. ¬†It’s such a joy to see you all enjoying and continuing¬†with yoga.

If you’re up for Hatha yoga classes next week here are the dates and times to make a note off:

Tuesday 27th December 10:00am

Wednesday 28th December 10:00am

Please contact  me in advance to confirm whether/when you can make it.

 

Yoga Christmas card on etsy.  http://www.walkingsatellite.etsy.com:

 

 

 

 

First yoga classes… a great success!

What an awesome feeling to have offered yoga classes to about 25 people here on St Helena and it gives me great joy in knowing that everyone found it enjoyable and beneficial in some way.  You all did extremely well and especially those first-time yoga participants.

Thank you to everyone who came and participated last week.  It was fun teaching you and I hope to see you again this week.

This week’s Hatha yoga classes will also be held on Wednesday 21st December and Thursday 22nd December at 5:00pm, at the Baptist Hall, Jamestown.

Please contact me to confirm whether/when you can make it.

Vinyasa yoga will also be on offer after Christmas.  So if you’re up for flowing with me, do let me know.

Remember to come prepared:

What to wear?  

Regular sports/gym wear that won’t constrict movement.  We will be barefoot during yoga classes so no need to dust off the sports shoes!

How to prepare?

  • Please ensure that you have no injuries or physical discomfort before joining
  • Please bring water and a towel (optional)
  • Please bring your yoga or fitness mat. ¬† Those of you who have asked to buy a new mat, I will have them with me.
  • Please¬†come with a positive attitudeūüôā
  • Please be on time

Hatha Yoga Classes for beginners starting this week. Book your spot now!

For those of you who have¬†have contacted me to express your interest in yoga, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! ¬† Thanks also for your feedback on suitable days/times… much appreciated!

Here’s a summary of what’s on offer:

Introductory Hatha Yoga for beginners:

These 90 minute classes will be suitable for those who haven’t tried yoga before. ¬†I hope to teach you some of the foundation yoga poses in Hatha Yoga as well as classic sun and moon salutations. What you will learn in this program will give you a strong foundation for most level 1 Hatha and Vinyasa yoga classes.

I’d like to offer these classes to as many of you¬†as possible and to start with, I’m hoping to offer 2 classes per week (possibly more after Christmas.) ¬†For the moment, you can¬†only join one of these days per week for the introductory class as mat space is limited and interest is high. ¬†But if there is sufficient interest to open up more classes during the week then there might be a chance for you to¬†join more than 1 class per week. ¬†I will keep you posted.

Vinyasa yoga classes will also be offered soon for those who are interested.

Location:

I have two possible venues lined up.  I will edit this post tomorrow to confirm.  Both are located in Jamestown.

When?  

Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:00pm.  Starting on Wednesday on 14th December and Thursday 15th this week.

What to wear?  

Regular sports/gym wear that won’t¬†constrict movement. ¬†We will be barefoot during yoga classes so no need to dust off the sports shoes!

How to prepare?

  • Please ensure that you have no injuries or physical discomfort before joining
  • Please bring water and a towel
  • Please bring a yoga or fitness mat ¬†(I have 1¬†yoga mat left in stock. ¬†¬£10 each) ¬†Those of you who have asked for a mat, I will have them with me.
  • Please¬†come with a positive attitude ūüôā
  • Please be on time

I’m now contactable on local mobile number: 65121 ¬† Please contact me if you have any questions.

Please also¬†contact me to confirm your attendance. ¬†It’s very important that I have an idea of numbers before the start of each class. ¬†Classes are ¬£3.00 p.p per session.

See you on the mat!

Namaste.