It’s Friday evening, you are driving home from a long week at work. You have one objective - get home as quick as possible, put on your comfy sweats and pour yourself a glass of wine. You need to relax, de-stress and let go.
But maybe there’s another way to unwind.
The warm inviting yoga studio in town isoffering a Restorative Yoga class. “Yoga, ”you say, “that’s not my cup of tea.”
Well, maybe it should be. Check it out - the room is heated maybe 80 degrees, not heated like hot sweaty yoga, but just enough to rid you of that New England winter chill.
Candles light the room and soft music is playing. You are instructed to take a mat, a blanket, a bolster and a block. Not sure what to do, you follow the others and place your head on your blanket and the bolster under your knees and lie down.
The instructor asks you to breathe, and you do. She instructs you to let go of your day. Easier said than done. You allow your breath to soften and relax your muscles, your body and your mind.
The instructor leads the class through several poses. You are either seated or lying on your mat. The props are used to support your body. Modifications are given so that everyone can find a restorative pose that helps to gently stretch muscles and release tension. First time students like you feel completely welcome and satisfied. Advanced practitioners can chose to go deeper into a pose or completely relax and let go.
Poses, or asanas, as they are called in sanskrit, the Hindu language of yoga, involve gentle twists, supported inversions and openings for the chest, hips, throat and more. These asanas, which translates to seat, are held for 1-5 minutes.
While you rest in your asana, the instructor moves quietly through the room adjusting students with soft touch or an appropriate prop. Lavender scented oil is massaged into your shoulders, neck and temples. Your breathing continues to expand, to even out and to release.
“Savasana”, the instructor announces, “final relaxation.” Not sure you can be any more relaxed, you slide your bolster back under your knees and splay out on your mat. You take a deep breath in and let the remnants of your busy week go. The lights are dimmed, you close your eyes, a cool scented eye pillow is placed over them. The instructor reads a guided meditation that lulls you even deeper into bliss.
Not sure if you have dozed, the instructor gently asks you to come up to a seated position. The class chants “OM” a vibrational sound that brings everyone together. Hands in prayer,thumbs to your forehead, you are asked to say “Namaste” which means many things including “the light in me honors the light in you, and together we are one.”
You walk out of the studio ninety minutes later, feeling like a new born baby. You still have plenty of time to go home and put on your comfy sweats but I doubt you will need that glass of wine.
In Marblehead you can take Restorative Yoga every Tuesday night at 7 pm, at theYoga Loft, 28 Bessom Street. All levels welcome.