Purvi’s yoga journey started when she turned to asana yoga as an alternative to other fitness activities (yuck, crunches, yuck, treadmills). Purvi’s time on the mat started as something new to do aerobically that laid a good physical foundation for her practice. The depth of Purvi’s practice changed when she completed a 30 day challenge at the studio and realized she didn’t want to do daily back to back asana practice. She wanted to recover and rest and support her practice through restorative yoga as well. Purvi continues to teach many efforted classes in addition to the restorative practice. Purvi says sometimes we need to just shut down and simplify what we are consuming through our senses.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Some of our favorite props to use in restorative yoga include blocks, blankets, bolsters, straps, and sandbags. In a restorative yoga class, you set up the necessary props for each posture, and hold for an extended period. Over time, as you are holding a posture, you will effortlessly sink more deeply into the pose. The props do the work for us, allowing us to rest. You just get to be with yourself and rest.
Even the littlest amount of consistency goes a long way. Long, grand, inconsistent restorative practices can be really meaningful and enjoyable. But it’s important to set aside even just a few minutes for ourselves to dive into that restorative practice each day. Purvi makes sure to practice this by resting with her legs up the wall with a strap each day.
Restorative Yoga Benefits
It is so important to make space for ourselves to be still because we are constantly going. Our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is constantly stimulated by our phones, email, everything. How often do you find your stressors triggered by a notification or interaction with someone online – anything! Our bodies have a hard time coming out of this state, especially once our bodies have learned to reach that state so often as they do now (smartphone, we just can’t quit you). We really need to set aside time for rest, and that rest requires a lack of stimulation. Restorative yoga allows us to activate our parasympathetic system. We know (y’all are thinking about the past, thinking about the future, having general anxiety about whatever your brain can scrape from the bottom of the barrel (even during yoga sometimes! damn brain give us a break!). But restorative yoga allows us to release into a pose by supporting our bodies into that pose with props.
Asking for Help – A Deeper Lesson in Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga empowers us to ask for help – from our props and from an instructor. Many of us are socialized to be the helper, the supporter, and the one who serves others. What restorative yoga has taught us is to rethink that role of the one serving as less transactional and hierarchical. Everyone needs help, it’s time we get good and comfy with it.
Two Ways to Rethink Props
When we allow ourselves to utilize help from props, when we feel how good it is to be supported – we open ourselves up to receiving help without shame and to offer help in gratitude for the opportunity to help. Purvi often describes props as “tools, not crutches.” Using a prop is not a failure of your body or your practice . Using a prop can be a great way to elevate the quality of your practice, your experience of the practice. We can get a lot out of a practice that includes props.
Opportunities to Practice with Us
At Practice Indie, you can find bliss with our lovely restorative mermaids at these times:
Monday with Jenna from 8:15 -9:15p, Competitive Napping
Wednesday with Purvi from 4:15p – 5p Rest and Reset
Wednesday with Karen from 4:15p – 5p Rest and Reset
Thursday with Jessica at 5:15p-6:15p Competitive Napping
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Coming at You December 2019!!!
December 13-16, 2019
10 hours of continuing education taught to you by Purvi!
The challenge of restorative yoga is allowing ourselves time and space in our culture of stress and stimulation. How do we as instructors meet the bodies and needs that result from our modern day environment? We want to learn to meet people where they are and create a time and space that is specifically for rest, granting permission in a way to our fellow yogis in the classroom. There will be some more active postures that include props to find a more restorative twist in addition to the classic restorative poses. What do we learn about ourselves when we make a pose restorative?
If you want to learn more about Purvi’s background in restorative yoga, one way to learn is by researching her own teacher, Judith Lassiter.