This style of yoga encourages both healing and rejuvenation in the physical body as well as promoting evenness of the mind. It does not involve ‘poses’ as such but simply settles the body in different configurations for quite long periods of time. The body is eased into mostly supine positions and carefully supported by props such as cushions and yoga blocks. These longer holdings which require no sense of efforting help to release muscular tension and bring about a relaxation response in the nervous system.
Even at the best of times we can exhibit a stress response to our environment. Restorative yoga allows the space for the parasympathetic nervous system to surface and promote a release from the flight or fight response that overwhelms us so much of the time. The outcome is a relaxed, grounded and more centered state of being.
The practice differs from other introspective yoga systems in that the poses are supported by props, encouraging a safe letting go. With the release in the physical body, the mind also has the opportunity to undo, and we witness a more subtle sense of internal movement. Being intimate with our breath is the primary resource of this kind of practice which is very much like a supine form of meditation. When the body is truly relaxed, and nourished from its natural ground then it begins to open to a deeper sense of integration and insight.
For a person with an active asana practice, the restorative practice not only provides a balance to some of our more goal orientated tendencies, it also helps us to be reached by the more subtle layers of movement which can then illuminate an active practice. For those people who are challenged by an active practice, the restorative practice can be very therapeutic and can start to open and heal the body in a way which may enable more active movement.
RESTORATIVE EVENINGS WITH CONTEMPLATIVE SHARING
These evenings have been developed for Extinction Rebellion Activists but are open to all.
A number of FREE restorative evenings are being offered to help ground and settle body and mind. This type of self-care invites a sense of ease and quietude, allowing a deep sense of oneself to arise peacefully to the surface. This spaciousness is brilliant at providing fertile ground for quiet insight. Each evening consists of an hours restorative care based on relinquishing the need for effort through breath and relaxation and some sitting. There is then the option of a half-hour space for a collaborative sharing in which listening to what deeply invites our attention is given space to emerge. This is being hosted by Derek Elliott at Jericho Community Centre (Dance Studio) between 8pm and 9.30pm on the following Wednesday evenings. June 12th, July 3rd and July 24th. The last two dates might change if they clash with big XR meetings. If you want to come then please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance as places are limited. If you want further information about the restorative content of the evening there is a brief description at https://www.derekelliottyoga.co.uk/restorative-yoga.