WORKSHOP: Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

WORKSHOP: Restorative Yoga for Anxiety

Saturday 27th May | 2pm to 4pm | Embody Wellness

Widespread research has shown that relaxation practices such as restorative yoga have numerous benefits including the ability to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Related to this, restorative yoga also facilitates mindful awareness of the body which plays a part in our resilience to stress.

In this 2-hour workshop we will practice restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to relieve anxiety. If you have anxiety, restorative yoga can be particularly challenging because the mind has less to focus on than with a more active practice and, consequently, any concerns you have been suppressing may start to arise once the body begins to relax. However, this does not mean you should avoid practicing restorative poses. It is precisely during times of feeling highly stressed or anxious that these practices can be of the greatest benefit. We will use props to support the body in ways that have been shown to allow both mind and body to feel safe and grounded.

It is not that one pose or one workshop will ‘cure’ anxiety, but in this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focused breathing, as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home.)

As an experienced Restorative Yoga teacher and an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater, I have found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing my own anxiety.

Advance booking is required. Secure your place by booking via the Embody Wellness website here or call the studio directly on 020 7099 0048

Straight to the Core

Ever since confirmation of my spondy, in seeking advice on how I might work on addressing this, one word (even from some fellow yoga teachers) has repeatedly come up.

Pilates.

I’d wanted to do some more Pilates since Tilton House but never got round to it. Now I’m in a situation where I know that strengthening my core (in particular the TA muscles) will help to support my lumbar spine.

I turned to one of my yoga teachers, Sally who is also a very experienced and knowledgeable Pilates teacher. It was at Sally’s retreat at in the summer last year where my interest in Pilates was re-ignighted.  I took classes for a while several years ago and always felt that yoga and Pilates complemented each other.  But as ever, life got busy, work to took over and Pilates (and yoga, for a while) fell by the wayside.

I was so grateful when Sally kindly said she would guide me through some Pilates moves I can do at home.  Not least because I know she is a great teacher, but also because I know she is patient and kind.  (I remember an experience of a Pilates teacher barking at me like a drill sergeant in a scenario which apparently wasn’t a bootcamp style class.  That didn’t really work for me…).  In my first session with Sally it took me some time to get re-acquainted with Pilates breathing on some of the exercises, which does differ from how we breathe in yoga.  I really appreciated Sally’s patience then!

I am also seeing a wonderful yoga therapist who after my initial assessment explained that, in yoga terms, my prana was being depleted down the front side of my body between my ribs and my pelvis.  Aside from working with my yoga therapist on correcting my posture from my feet upwards (as even the way I naturally stand has been putting additional pressure on my lumbar), there is a significant focus on the front body being able to support the back body, thereby allowing the back body to rest.  So, she mentioned working on the TA muscles (and Mula Bandha) in my very first yoga therapy session too.

I’m finding that combining my yoga therapy exercises along with the Pilates exercises Sally is showing me are really complementing each other. It does take dedication to practice regularly but just a few weeks in I am already noticing a positive difference in how my body, and mind, feel.

Sally is kindly going to monitor my progress over the next few weeks or so, gradually building on the exercises where appropriate, so I’ll be charting my progress here on the blog too.

As I work on my own physical therapy I am looking forward to seeing what I learn along the way and consequently being able to share some of this experience while I grow as a teacher too.

I’m feeling good about 2012.