Look on any yoga schedule today and there is a good chance that nestled away somewhere between Hatha Level 1 and Vinyasa Flow is a Restorative yoga class.
If you haven’t experienced a restorative yoga class you can expect a very calming experience. Restorative classes are set at a relaxed pace with an opportunity to totally destress as your body surrenders into yoga props. Sounds good, no?
‘students are trying restorative yoga and feeling the difference in their bodies and minds’
Restorative yoga is rapidly gaining popularity because of its ability to help manage the stress overload we experience in our day to day lives. Combined with the use of essential oils, restorative yoga is a practice that will bring the body and mind into balance.
Make use of lots of props
Props used in a restorative practice include folded and rolled blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks along with additional support from a wall or chair for some poses. The use of multiple props arranged to suit the student’s specific physical needs enables them to hold a fully rested position for an extended period of time.
Susan Kjesbo, a certified Yoga Therapist, describes restorative yoga as ‘active relaxation where the body is supported with props to give the message to the body to let go’. In a typical class you will be able to do just that.
A class or workshop will consist of just a handful of poses where the whole body is fully supported and each individual pose is held for several minutes. These very relaxed physical positions initiate a response where the breath deepens and physical and mental stresses can release.
A restorative yoga practice offers great health benefits. In Susan’s experience ‘students are trying restorative yoga and feeling the difference in their bodies and minds when they walk out of class and are coming back for more’.
Getting started with restorative yoga and essential oils
Susan is also passionate about the use of essential oils as a complement to a restorative yoga practice. When oils make contact with the skin they are absorbed into the tissues affecting the body as a whole. Then, through our sense of smell, the oils are linked to the part of our brains associated with emotion and memory which, in turn, can influence mood and mindset.
‘stress has become one of the biggest health challenges of modern life and the use of essential oils and a regular restorative yoga practice are great additions to our self care routines’, Susan Kjesbo.
If you are just getting started with essential oils, she suggests using lavender for its calming properties. ‘You can place a drop in your hands and breathe the scent from your hands or rub it in to the bottom of your feet’. If you are keen to learn more about essential oils, she also recommends that students ‘find someone knowledgable to work with or use a good reference book such as Modern Essentials’ in order to get the greatest benefit.
As we try to keep up with ever more frantic and over scheduled lives so stress has become one of the biggest health challenges of modern living. A regular practice incorporating restorative yoga and essential oils is a perfect addition to our personal self care routines. As Susan points out, ‘we all operate better from a place of centeredness rather than frenzy’.
To see Susan’s teaching schedule visit www.Susankjesbo.com
Susan’s go to brand for essential oils is doTerra.
Want more visual stuff? Take a peek at her Instagram page @therapyyogi