In a culture of go, go, go, with barely an opportunity to catch our breath, Just Breathe Yoga — Restorative Yoga sessions provides anyone with a desire to seek sanctuary from the stress of schedules and barrage of the senses, with the time and place to purposefully rest, relax and revive body and mind. Just Breathe Yoga runs Restorative Yoga sessions in Grey Lynn and Ponsonby as a 90 minute evening session during the week, and as a three hour workshop every month.
It's no small thing that anyone practicing yoga, no matter how long they have been doing yoga will be on a lifelong journey of learning. What often comes as a revelation is the profound experience of discovering Restorative Yoga. At Just Breathe Yoga, yoga teacher Gabrielle Matches has introduced many yoga enthusiasts, beginners and experienced yogis to the amazing power of Restorative Yoga.
The act of doing nothing may seem trivial and commonplace, but Restorative Yoga provides the body with time and space to start a process of release and rejuvenation. How often in our busy schedules can we claim this badge. Restorative Yoga has it’s origins with the work of B.K.S. Iyengar who pioneered the use of props to help support the body in Yoga postures. Props such as blankets, bolsters, chairs, sandbags, eye bags and other devices are used to support the body in this particular yoga practice.
Restorative Yoga is the practice of getting into poses where the body and all joints are positioned for complete comfort with the aid of props. Every care is taken to setup these props. This is where the expertise of an experienced teacher like Gabrielle is so invaluable. The props need to be carefully adjusted to fully support the person so that there is absolutely no discomfort in the body. It's only when every joint in the body has received the message that it is fully supported will the body yield, feel safe to relax and soften into the pose. In this profound state of supportiveness can one relax deeply, and be present in each pose.
Long comfortable repose in these Restorative postures (some up to 20 minutes ) are preferable to shorter holds of the same pose that are setup to create more strongly-felt sensations. This may seem to contradict all the past lessons of yoga, but Restorative Yoga counters this tendency by moving the practice towards neutral, (rather than a “strong sensation” of stretching and release), all the while observing your breath and how it can vary with each pose.
The Benefits of Restorative Yoga
People who practice Restorative Yoga often mention how it has heightened their self awareness, like a long calming meditation practice. They also report feeling fully rejuvenated yet relaxed. Sounds like an oxy moron, but it has to be experienced to be understood. This is not an intellectual practice. This is about moving from Exteroception (outside body/environment) to Proprioception (your body in space) to Interoception (inside your body). Interoception cultivates quality and sensitivity in the mind body connection and is very helpful in managing stress/anxiety, shifting habits, releasing tension, reducing pain and making difficult choices wisely.
The benefits of this practice can often last a number of days and include improved powers of concentration, patience, a sense of calm, and deep restful sleep. Neuroscientists are beginning to study the effects of how interoceptive awareness is felt in our brain, in our immune system, and in our emotional lives.
If you are seeking an oasis of calm from the crazy of your schedule and stresses of daily life, Just Breathe Yoga runs awesome Restorative Yoga sessions in Grey Lynn and Ponsonby; 90 minute sessions in the evenings during the week, and three hour workshops every month.
Just Breathe Yoga practices at the Ananda Marga Yoga and Meditation Centre at 51 Sussex Street in Grey Lynn / Ponsonby, Auckland.