The Restorative Yoga for Anxiety and Depression Release class on Saturday, March 17 is a deeply relaxing practice in a small group, usually about six people. This class meetsone Saturday a month at Grateful Spirit yoga in Atascadero, behind Healthy Inspirations across from Smart and Final.
We begin with a brief check in, introducing ourselves to one another to make the rest of the session comfortable knowing who is in the room with us. This eases tension. The entire session is designed to ease tension.
We then move into a brief How To Sit Comfortably 101 in case anyone would like to end their session with seated meditation, so they know how to get comfortable and become familiar with the seated Sukasana, or Easy Pose. Guided relaxation follows.
Nothing is required in this session, only that you honor what feels right to you. The restorative poses can be modified to any body, All the poses are practiced by propping the body with blankets to make your body comfortable. All poses are done on the floor. All body types, levels of fitness and levels of experience are welcome. We use eight to ten blankets or more per person.
We spend time in the poses, from five to twenty minutes, to allow the body to really relax, which eases mental tension. If the poses aren’t comfortable or inappropriate for you for any reason, we modify or put you into an entirely different pose. Students are covered by blankets, creating a sense of security from the weight of the covers. Eyes are closed, if that is comfortable for the student (it usually is because the atmosphere is so calm and conducive to rest). Eye bags or eye masks are recommended. Although the group is small, this is a very private experience for oneself.
A key element to the session is the meditation guidance. Students are lulled into a trance-like relaxation by way of the rhythm of words, the gentleness of the movements, the length of rest in each posture and by attuning to and controlling the breath. There is minimal stimulation in this practice, which allows us to realize our own mental habits and thought patterns, to recognize invasive thoughts and to practice how to become aware of, how to observe and how to control the mind for our own well being.
The class is guided calmly from pose to pose and into and out of silent, contemplative moments where the mind relaxes into states of consciousness that are rejuvenative. This pattern supports the immune system and supports the inherent healing capacity of the body. People often drift off to sleep, though I encourage people to try to hover in that spacey place between wakefulness and sleep. This state of mind is where the magic happens, what promotes healing and what we need more of. People leave this session feeling refreshed, comfortable, alert, relaxed and calmly peaceful. This session is like an abbreviation of the Women’s Restorative Retreat experience. It is a mini-getaway.
The mind has been prepared to meditate in this practice and indeed people are already in a meditative state at the end of class. Meditation is the goal of classical (Raja) Yoga. To end in seated, silent meditation is more effortless than one might expect, especially for those with no previous meditation experience. Ending in meditation or by lying comfortably on the floor, covered, is the student’s choice. For go-getters who have difficulty relaxing and meditating, ending seated, as we began class, can give one a sense of real accomplishment. Again, it is up to the student how they would like to experience their practice, and I encourage students to decide in the moment.
People report sleeping better and having less pain, less inflammation, less anxiety and less depression after these sessions. All of this leads to better moods and improved relationships, a shift in perception, greater awareness, greater ease in concentrating, all improving the quality of our lives.
The session begins at 2pm and ends at 4:30.
I recommend registering in advance of attending, as it does fill and space is limited. Cost is $35. Register here. PayPal sometimes glitches. Let me know if you have any problem signing up (if you try). If you have a friend interested and they’d like to contact me about class, have them email me.
Thanks for your interest!