In a vow to get a little more active, I’ve started a yoga course. I’ve been practicing restorative yoga at the Bodywise Yoga and Natural Health Studio at the Buddhist Centre, here in Manchester. I thought I’d share a little bit about my journey into practicing restorative yoga and share a few bits of kit…
Restorative yoga helps provide better physical and mental balance. The practice of restorative yoga can help you to de-stress and reduce anxiety. Often you use props, like blocks, bolsters and blankets. The blocks and bolsters are to aid deep, passive stretching. This stretching will in turn help with improved deep breathing, stretch your body after a day in front of the laptop and leave you feeling zen.
What should I wear?
One thing I noticed, which will sound rather silly. It quickly became apparent how badly I need to invest in some yoga appropriate clothes. Shopping for quality activewear can be a minefield. For restorative yoga, although you’re not doing too many dynamic stretches or sun salutations, you are still stretching your body and this means that my gym vest that I’ve been wearing for ages, just isn’t cutting it.
For a restorative class it is best to be really comfortable. You could wear anything, leggings are suitable, but looser style pants and a t -shirt would be a comfortable choice. It’s also a great idea to bring a cozy pair of socks or warm long sleeve top to wear towards the end of the class for ultimate relaxation.
Throughout the class you will practice stretches and gentle twists. The teacher will come around and check on each person to ensure each pose is done correctly, to avoid injury. Towards the end of the class we will wind down and usually use a blanket and eye mask to fully relax into a state of zen. Yogamatters Organic have created a beautiful gift for those who practice restorative yoga, the kit is made from 100% certified organic cotton and looks would be a real treat for anyone practicing restorative yoga
Finding Space To Breathe
It’s incredible to think that such slow movements can improve our core strength. If you’re thinking about starting a yoga class, I say go for it. Alternatively, you can try free online yoga classes in your own home. I particularly love ‘Yoga With Adriene’ on YouTube. For me the class has meant the chance to fully exhale, to breathe and to unwind. I love knowing that at least once a week I can reach a state of complete zen. Not to mention have a good old stretch.
‘Take time to breathe’