Monday, December 3, 2012

Restorative Yoga

It had been about 4 years since I went to a restorative yoga class. I had done yoga in those years, but not restorative, which has tended to be my favorite form of yoga—geared to long-held, supported poses that allow the body, the mind, and the breath to ... well, to restore.

(Letting you know now this is going to be a very short post.)

I got a great deal of joy out of anticipating the class. I put it in my calendar at the beginning of the week (and actually I put it in in perpetuity, on the hope that I'd like it and keep going.) Once I got there, I liked the vibe at the studio, and I liked the people, and I liked the way the room looked and felt, and I put down my mat, my bolster, my blankets, my blocks, and I started to stretch (because I have enough injuries that if I don't stretch before yoga things can really go badly.) The teacher came in and put on music. I liked the music. (So often yoga teachers use some standard-issue new age mix that is supposed to be relaxing but that gets right under my skin, but this wasn't like that.) And then we started the class. Every single pose hurt some part of my body -- usually my knees (but sometimes my low back.) I stuck in the poses as long as I could, and I modified them as best I could, and when I couldn't do either, I came out of the poses and laid on my back in shavasana pose, hoping the teacher did not think me lazy. It was a fascinating class—not one restorative pose I recognized, and not one pose that didn't hurt. I did come away with a sense that my hips were open and my body and mind were more relaxed, but sadly I also came away with very sore knees.

So was it time spent all for myself? Absolutely. Was it joyful? Not much. Will I go back? I know how important some kind of restorative yoga is for me, but I don't know that this class is going to be right for me and my knees. But I have it in my calendar for every Sunday from now on.

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