By Elizabeth Halliday-Reynolds
If you have ever sat down to meditate, you will find out within the first minute that YOU generate a lot of thoughts. You have a lot of sensations. You have more awareness than you thought possible. Often you have a lot of judgement about it all!
Adding a Yin or Restorative practice can feel a lot like meditation. You will need the courage to give your active body permission to take things way slower than normal. You will need the strength to go “off duty” on the one hand but to stay in awareness on the other. There are real gems to be found in a yin or restorative yoga practice. Those quiet minutes in a bolstered pose gives you time to process all the sensations.
Where did that tension come from? How long have I been holding that?
With no where to go, but stay, there is a powerful anchoring to the self.
Both Yin and Restorative offer an the opportunity to bring a meditative quality to your yoga practice. The poses are held longer and plenty of props are part of the practice.
Aside from being a meditative experience, both have some benefits in common:
- Any level can benefit – Yes beginners or experienced love these styles
- Use props like bolsters, blankets, blocks and pillows
- Increase flexibility
- supports injuries
- Release tension and stress
- Improve your regular movement based practice
- Tap into self love
More about Restorative Yoga: This is a practice that is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. During the long holds of restorative yoga, your muscles are allowed to relax deeply. Props like blankets, blocks, pillows and bolsters, rather than your muscles, are used to support your body in restful postures. Poses are held longer than in more active yoga classes to enhance the releasing of stress, muscular tightness, or any other factors that leave one feeling imbalanced.
More about Yin Yoga: Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures that are held for longer periods of time. Yin yoga stretches and targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as the poses stretch and exercise the bone and joint areas. It also helps us to regulate the body’s flow of energy and opens the the physical body up to foster fluidity of movement and ease.
Yin and Restorative are powerful opportunities to BE IN YOUR body. Each style offers some similarities but also some differences. Take these classes to find out for yourself. You will find that both styles give the yoga after glow, the healing, the balanced peace.