Restorative yoga for sceptics

Now that we’re all at home without the fancy props of a well equipped studio, we have to make the best of what we have for Restorative Yoga practice. A bolster and some yoga blocks are always helpful, if you have them, but what will really help you get comfortable in your poses is as many pillows, cushions and blankets or even bath towels as you can lay your hands on. These props are used to support the body; they provide a sense of safety and comfort, promoting the relaxation of physical tensions and allowing the mind to settle.

In class I layer up the instructions for each pose, to help you make best use of what you have available. I show the pose without props so you understand the basic shape and then add on suggestions for how to make it more comfortable. I know it can all seem like a bit of a faff at the beginning — I remember this from my first classes too! But after a while you might just find you fall in love with the ritual of taking the time and care to arrange your props and enjoy the experimentation of what works best for you. It’s a really profound act of self-care. You deserve this.

My husband isn’t usually a fan of restorative yoga, but this evening he asked me to set him up in a supported savasana. He just said he felt like it. I chose side-lying savasana as this is, I think, the most nurturing form of savasana there is. Savasana Royale! I asked him to begin by making the basic shape, lying on his left side with the knees drawn up. He told me quite abruptly: “This is the most uncomfortable position I’ve ever been in!”. So we got busy with the props and the cushions. A few minutes later once I’d fussed around a bit, supporting his neck, padding out the lower legs, and a comfortable way to support his arms, he looked pretty peaceful.

A final touch was to dim the lights, cover him with a blanket and tell him to rest there until I came back. I told him I’d just leave him five minutes (restorative yoga teacher’s joke!!).

His verdict afterwards was that he felt really relaxed — and he looked it! He even said he’d like to learn some other poses with me, which is the highest accolade I could imagine from this restorative yoga sceptic! 🙂

I guide Restorative Yoga class alternate Monday evenings via zoom, 6-7pm UK time. My husband probably won’t be there, but you could be! Class sign ups are here: Please be in touch with any questions if you’d like to join but you feel unsure. I’d be happy to help.

Published by Victoria Jackson

Oxford-based vinyasa yoga teacher

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