Monday, 26 September 2011

Restorative Yoga

Hi! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Here in Ottawa, the sun was shining, it was a glorious fall weekend. So grateful for warm sunny weather at the end of September! I want to soak it all in, while it's still around!

I've just begun a training course in Restorative Yoga, based on the work of Judith Lasater ( It was 17 hours this past weekend, and there will be two more weekends like it, to become certified. What a wonderful, entirely different perspective on yoga! Restorative Yoga focuses on using props, to allow people to fully experience the rest and deep relaxation that is available in yoga. It is a practice that, to me, is all about compassion, gentleness, and rest. There is no movement, no striving, no pushing deeper into poses. It is about rest, deep relaxation, and the breath.

 We live in a society that is all about moving. About going, planning, thinking, learning, acting. Our sympathetic nervous system (responsible for fight-or-flight responses) is always in action for this. Our parasympathetic nervous system, which allows us to deeply relax, rest, and heal, is often under-used, and begins to "forget" how to operate. Restorative Yoga brings people into restful postures, for long periods of time, and thus begins to activate that parasympathetic system. While this system is active, our bodies can reach that level of rest, where our bodies can heal themselves from whatever is ailing us. It's wonderful for anxiety, for depression, for burn-out, for recovery from surgery, for sleep-deprivation, for recovery from illness and disease.

Doesn't it look delicious and nurturing? I'm excited to learn more about it, and then begin to share it with the people in my life and my students. In the mean time, I will offer you this - find some pillows, get yourself cozy, breathe deeply, and allow yourself to rest!


  1. However, I find it difficult to maintain a steady solo practice but you have inspired me to begin again, to practice at making it steady. The sound of your morning ritual is too juicy to resist!

    Thank you!
    Restorative Yoga Poses

    1. Hi Julie,
      thanks for your comment. it is very challenging to stick to a personal practice - no doubt many things in life compete for our time, and sometimes we are our last priority. I can absolutely relate to that! but I am glad to hear you were inspired, and I hope you are continuing to move toward more time and nurturing for yourself! I am always amazed at what a difference it makes in my life, my body, my mind and my relationships, when I do work with my personal practice. it can be our gift to ourselves.