Restorative Yoga

by Moira on June 2, 2010

Simply Being


I discovered the Anjali Restorative Yoga class at om time yoga studio a few months ago.  I was experiencing more circumstantial stress than usual, and it was a blessing to go lie around on pillows and bolsters for an hour and half and let all that stress fall away.  As the circumstances shifted and the stress diminished, so did my inspiration to attend the class.  But I purchased a punch card, which is due to expire soon, so I have returned to class again.

And in doing so, have re-discovered a new edge to letting go.  The main intention of this class is that the body is completely supported by pillows, bolsters and props as we move from pose to pose.  The focus is on relaxing into the pose, letting  the weight of the body meet the obstacle of the prop and fall into it, letting go of any resistance.  Breathing and relaxing to deepen the pose. 

Lying in a pose very similar to the woman in the picture, the instruction was to let the right arm slide up near the ear and to fall over onto the side into ‘baby shiva pose’. Once settled there, to ‘feel the sweet heaviness of your body, how dense it is, so heavy that you have hardly any desire to move, and no desire to go anywhere.’   I sighed a deep sigh, wondering when I had ever been instructed to feel the sweet heaviness of my body, or indeed, the heaviness of my body had been described as sweet.

Later in the class, a pose that I have had some problems with in the past.  Yes, even in a restorative yoga class, there are poses that this body just can’t find it’s way to at this point.  I done a long walk in the morning, so my hamstrings were more vocal than usual that evening.  In the past, I have gritted my teeth and gotten through it, the habit of trying to fit in stronger than the intention to relax.  This time, I let go.  Together with the instructor, we found  the adjustment… and my body and my Self shuddered with the relief of acceptance. Not having to pretend to be something it is not. 

Here there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, no way to be.  In that moment, I learned something new about acceptance.  This is who I am in this moment, and this is the body that I have at this moment.  As I let go of the resistance to what is, and lean into the acceptance, I find relief.

Acceptance in this moment does not change the desire, the commitment to arrive at 60 being stronger, healthier and even more vibrant than today.  And I can leave that outside the door with my Birks, my keys and sunglasses.  

For these moments, I relax and nurture my body and my Self in the sweet space of acceptance.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert Weems January 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Very nice, Moira. I really feel you just being yourself here. And your self-acceptance is contagious.

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