Restorative yoga

Our bodies buckle under the punishing pressure we put them through. Mind over matter, we say as we keep going. Until matter balks, and puts a stop to our ridiculous confidence our bodies may be invincible.

From seemingly insignificant ailments, to major incapacitation, the body decides when it’s had enough.

Until we listen to its indignation, we are likely to worsen the condition. As such I took myself off a restorative yoga workshop yesterday at The Life Centre – a blissful practice, it was called.

Typically the yoga I do is vinyasa flow  – a dynamic flowing, sweat inducing, strengthening practice.


The Life Centre Islington, 1 Britannia Row, London N1 8QH

Restriction and pain from a wrist and thumb condition affecting tendons (De Quervain’s Syndrome) has held me back from my usual yoga for a few months. An adapted daily practice has gone some way to appease my need for regular yoga. However the slowness at which my wrist is mending, has had a knock on effect on the spring in my step. Physiotherapy, rest and osteopathy only go so far to accelerate healing.

The benefits of restorative yoga is that it is a very slow, gentle and still practice. We use props (belts, bolsters, chairs, blankets, blocks, sand bags) to get into various relaxing, supported postures that we hold for 15 to 20 minutes.


Restorative yoga workshop, 13 August 2016 – getting ready

Once we’re in the pose, we melt into it. At first I noticed tension, tightness and soreness in some areas (back, shoulders).  A natural response would have been to  move, get out of the posture to alleviate the aches. Instead, by staying, and breathing and relaxing, I found the painful areas simply left my body, after five sometimes ten minutes.

I was reminded of the miraculous healing properties of our bodies, if we treat them with care and respect. And allow them to be restored with the proper guidance, such as with yoga teacher, Joyce McMiken, in yesterday’s workshop.

The term restorative is well chosen.

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 © Amanda Yensa Manor 2016


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