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Written by Jessica Hinkson, yoga instructor extraordinaire. We are beyond excited to have Jessica share this post on restorative yoga with us.
The title of this piece is tongue and cheek as much as it is serious. The truth is if you want to read about the facts of why and how yoga can help you, you can go to a health magazine or bookstore and find out. Don’t get me wrong they are very necessary, of extreme importance actually, but those articles/books become un-interesting quickly because it feels like you are reading something that is in a foreign language. Reading that a posture will massage your internal organs or rather someone speaking about your cervical spine and the importance of creating space while being properly supported is most likely going to go in one ear, and out the other.
What I can and am going to do, is tell you about a type of yoga that I believe to be the most transcendent, transformative, and empowering type of practice I have personally experienced and witnessed.
It is called Restorative Yoga.
Restorative Yoga is the slowest form of yoga. It takes the best of Hatha Yoga and modifies the practice to be accessible to any and all levels. In Restorative Yoga we hold postures from 3 minutes up to 10 minutes as you are supported with several props at all times, blankets, eye pillows, bolsters, and/or blocks.
Being supported at all times gives your body a chance to receive the invitation in to the posture. From there, the breath widens, deepens, and the mind therefore has an opportunity to slow down allowing you to reach a deep state of relaxation. The bliss state is real, and yes people walk out of my class stoned, with a yogic stone, that is! (Tweet today's tweetable!)
I also believe that the importance of touch is crucial, which is why I do a lot of hands on work as you breathe in pure essential oils. Through the work I have done in Therapeutic Yoga learning Thai Yoga Massage, Acupressure, and Hands-on Asana Techniques; I take them in to my classes and apply them to my students whether it be a hand massage or gently guiding your shoulders away from your ears with a little TLC.
Don’t think of it as coming to a yoga class or even acknowledge the word exercise, instead begin to visualize the fabulous spa experience you are about to embark on! I use a wide range of music in my classes. Music is an integral part of not only our culture, but also our lives, why wouldn’t it be when it comes to yoga? I do encourage people to be themselves, if I’m not being my authentic self, how is it that as I teacher I expect that of you. Lastly, I ‘swaddle’ you because I love you. What does that mean? If I were you, I’d want to find out.
Jessica began practicing Yoga in New York in 1999 at the Jivamukti studio while attending the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. An actress by profession, she moved to Toronto five years ago and began practicing at YogaSpace where she was inspired to delve more deeply into Yoga as a way of life and entered the Yoga Teacher Training program. During her teacher training, she became deeply influenced by Therapeutic Yoga. In this day and age Therapeutic Yoga is a term many studios have come to use, each with its own definition of purpose. From there she went on to do her Restorative Teacher Training with Hali Schwartz, along with completing her Pre Natal Teacher Training with Sasha Padron and completing a course in Mindfulness-Based Wellness Education. Jessica has traveled all over the world, loves cooking, photography, andhanging out with her golden retriever Kaia. She is very excited to introduce From Yoga To High Heels, and hopes you enjoy the ride!
Question of the Day: Do you do Yoga? If so, what is your favourite type?
P.S. Don't forget to tweet today's tweetable!