Upcoming October Classes


As a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor, I follow the tradition of cycling through the different families of asanas each week as practiced at Iyengar Institute in Pune, India.

Restorative practice:
Minimizes sympathetic (fight or flight response) stimulation to the nervous system by reducing sensory exposure, decreasing mental activity and external stimulants that activate the nervous system
Maximizes parasympathetic (relaxation response or rest an digest) activation of the nervous system through safety, comfort, quiet and use of props

B.K.S. Iyengar, father of the modern practice, was the first to systematically develop restorative sequences, through which our body/mind can return to its natural state of well-being. The sequences can include supported back extensions, that tend to be invigorating; supported forward extensions, that have a calming, soothing effect on the nervous system; supported inversions, that give the heart a rest from its effort to pump blood to the brain and provide support for all the body’s systems, especially the immune and endocrine systems; and supported side bends and twists that help neutralize the body/mind through releasing deeper held tensions and anxiety. Extended stays in the asanas stretch, cleanse and tone the internal organs, allowing time to let go and rest deeply.

One of my teachers, Roger Cole, a CIYT and a psychobiologist and sleep researcher, taught) that restorative yoga and sleep complement one another. This has been my experience as well. He says that restorative yoga is better than sleep for releasing tense muscles, relieving joint aches, and transitioning the mind and body quickly from stress to calm. It also teaches conscious control of relaxation. Sleep is essential for completing the job of full recovery of the nervous system, sorting out memories and emotions, and literally finding meaning in our lives.

My students over the years have told me that they also experience improved sleep for two to three nights after one restorative class, and they notice improved attention and concentration.
Your personal practice can be simply doing one or two restorative poses, a full sequence, or including them appropriately within a session or near completion.

As I rest and let go in my restorative practice of un-doing, I am reminded of the words of John Bradshaw:

“We are human be-ings, not human do-ings.”

Week 1 Standing Asanas Oct 1, 3 & 5
Week 2 Forward Extensions Oct 8, 10 & 12
Week 3 Backward Extensions Oct 15, 17 & 19
Week 4 Twists and Balancing Oct 22, 24 & 26
Week 5 Restorative Asanas Oct 29, 31 & Nov 1