I went to my first yoga class at the YMCA yesterday.
It was marvelous and very different from what I expected.
The class was entitled “Restorative Yoga”. This type of yoga combines slowing down and opening the body through passive stretching.
Rather than changing quickly from pose to pose, we held each yoga pose for about ten minutes.
Within the hour-long class, we completed about five poses. Focusing on passive stretching, the poses were very restful.
I loved it and I will take the class again and again.
All of the poses we did involved forward ‘folding’ and ‘bending’.
Because I had just returned from a five-day trip, my guts were churning because they virtually stop working while traveling.
Unfortunately for those near me, I tooted a couple of times.
I tried to cover them up with a cough, but I don’t think I was successful.
Oh well… I will just put my yoga mat next to a new victim at the next class. 🙂
Here’s a brief description (from about.com) in case you are interested to learn more about restorative yoga:
Restorative yoga is something completely different. It’s about slowing down and opening the body through passive stretching. If you take a restorative class, you may hardly move at all, doing just a few postures in the course of an hour.
During these long holds, your muscles relax deeply. It’s a completely different feeling from other types of yoga classes since props are used to support your body instead of your muscles. Restorative classes are very mellow, making them a good complement to more active practices and an excellent antidote to stress.
In restorative yoga, props are used extensively to support your body so that you can hold poses for longer. Postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.
For instance, a seated forward bend – paschimottanasana (see above) can become restorative by placing a bolster or several folded blankets on top of your legs so that your forward bend is fully supported with the entire torso resting on your props.