Friday, March 9, 2012

Restorative Yoga

Every week there is one workout that I look forward to knowing that I will come away from it feeling blissful and centered. With all the yang going on in my training it is nice to know that for one hour and fifteen minutes each week I get a little bit of yin. Once a week in the evening I give myself the gift of a restorative yoga class. Unlike many yoga classes this one does not require me to be a pretzel (which is a very good thing because I am like a super stale pretzel that will break and crack if twisting is involved). Restorative yoga uses many props and we are mostly in supported poses. We use bolsters, blanket, blocks and a wall. Each time the teacher gets us all set up into a pose I think 'wow, this is so comfy'. That thought lasts about a minute and then strange things begin to happen. My hips will release and I will start to settle deeper and deeper into the position. In almost every pose there comes a point where it gets to be uncomfortable and all I want to do is come out of it. From practice and breathing and the encouragement of the teacher I have learned that if I just breathe through I will come out the other side. The moment of discomfort passes and it is amazing how much more relaxed and deeper into the position my body settles. Even though it looks like I could be taking a nap when I am in class, I have found that it is one of the most important workouts I can do for my body and the hardest for my mind. It takes discipline to quiet the mind. Shut off the thoughts about how it doesn't feel good, how much longer, why is that guy next to me grunting so loudly. The more I practice though, the easier it gets to release my mind along with my body and get into a state of gentle acceptance and internal peace and focus. Last night the instructor reminded us to find the blissful place between effort and surrender. That is a magical place where wonderful things can happen, I hope to spend most of my Ironman day there, I just have to remember to breathe through it when it gets tough and my body will open up and come out the other side. The best thing about this type of yoga is that afterwards it feels like you had a deep massage and all your muscles are suptle and fluid. I have my best runs the day after, not to mention how good I sleep that night. I have come to think of this hour every week as the time I honor my body for all that I ask of it the rest of the time. Namaste

'Yoga is invigoration through relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.' Ymber Delecto

1 comment:

  1. You would make a great yoga instructor.