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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Lucas

We All Need More Rest

My Friday night relaxing yoga classes are a wonderful blend of Yin and Restorative yoga, yoga Nidra, meditation and simple breath work designed to help your body and mind restore and rebalance.

During each session I will guide you through some simple gentle stretches to release out the legs, hips, and shoulders then we move into our restorative yoga poses to help the body to physically relax and release. Each pose is tailored to the needs of each individual student to ensure maximum comfort and ease. Poses are supported by cushions, blankets, and any other yoga props available.

I offer a yoga Nidra practice in each session. Yoga Nidra is a guided, deep relaxation and meditation practice which is usually done lying down in a comfortable and warm position but can also be done sitting if you wish.

We all need more rest.

Achieving this, however, can be very challenging for most of us, especially if you find it hard to relax, to fall asleep or to stay asleep. My classes aim to support your body to learn to relax fully, this helps the body and mind to become familiar with relaxation and thus over time the body may settle to sleep more easily.

If you find it hard to switch off this class is for you.

Anyone can enjoy this class. As a minimum you need a comfortable place to lie down with cushions and blankets. That’s it. You then just listen. You can follow all of my guidance and be comfortably, happily aware of your body and mind at rest. You are welcome to drift in and out and enjoy a period of rest with my support in the background. You can even choose to drift off to sleep. This class is about enabling you to let go of physical and mental stress and encourage your sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze) to dial down and your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) to dial up - promoting balance and helping you to reset.

Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra can be used as a supportive and healing practice for many things including:

o Insomnia

o Relief Of Fatigue and Tension

o Stress

o Anxiety

o Pain Management

o Mental Health

Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra can result in more settled emotions, settled thoughts, improved productivity and creativity and even heightened intelligence. And even if you are not suffering from any of the above issues, the practice of restorative yoga and yoga Nidra will support the maintenance of a balanced physical and mental state.

Yoga Nidra means ‘yogic sleep’. It is an effortless, guided yoga relaxation and meditation practice that anyone can do, by themselves with an audio recording, or with the guidance of a teacher. It is usually done lying down in stillness using blankets and cushions as support. But you can practice sitting up if you wish.

Yoga Nidra brings you to a deeply relaxed state of mind and body, whilst you are still awake. You float between consciousness and unconsciousness being aware of the resting state of the body and mind as it is happening in the moment.

The practice promotes deep healing and very profound rest, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It systematically enables the body to restore to a balanced state of homeostasis. As you progress through yoga Nidra the body resumes optimal functioning of the digestive system, breath, and heart rate – you can often hear rumbling as the gut relaxes, a settling into deep breathing and tensions fall away.

Restorative yoga brings your body to a place of rest in a very supportive way. We use lots of cushions, blankets, and yoga props such as a bolster and bricks (if you have them).

What we rest on is doing the work, rather than our bodies so it is a passive style of yoga rather than an active stretching style of yoga. The props enable each person to modify the position to suit their own body, and if a position doesn’t work for you, you can simply choose one that does.

Restorative Yoga poses are held in comfortable support for between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the position of the pose. On average it takes 15 minutes for someone’s body to physiologically let go, and release, so longer held poses enable the body to physically relax fully, through this naturally healing style of yoga. Just think of what you can create in the hour!

During my classes I will offer you simple breath-work techniques. The aim of these is so you can start to use them outside of the yoga classes. You will build your own tool kit that you can use anytime, anywhere to feel a little more balanced, centered and calm.

Taking some time out to just breathe is invaluable throughout our day to calm our nervous system and help us to become more present with the things that we are doing.

Another reason I use them is because relaxation can be the hardest part of yoga class for many people who find their brain is very active and the thoughts just won’t switch off. Simple breathwork and meditation practices can help to give the mind focus and over time you will learn to calm the swirling of the mind. Thinking doesn’t stop but you can learn to find the spaces in-between thoughts to rest. This can be particularly helpful during restorative poses where I guide you in and then allow you quiet time to just ‘be’ in the moment.

In the words of Yung Peublo…

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