Restorative Yoga is derived from a yoga style that was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. Iyengar is widely regarded as one of the greatest yoga masters in the world. Iyengar has been practicing yoga for over 60 years.
Iyengar’s vast teaching experience showed him how pain or injury could sometimes happen when you strain too hard in a pose. He developed and adapted asanas using props and modifications so that a student could practice without pain or strain. Upon exploring these adapted poses more, it has been seen that they also help people recover from illness or other existing injuries.Judith Lasater, a student of Iyengar, popularised restorative yoga in the US in the 1970’s.
The main philosophy of Restorative Yoga is that by relaxing in poses, with the aid of props, without strain or pain, we can achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
Our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated when we relax into poses, which promotes a relaxation response and reduces stress in our bodies. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate and breath and increasing blood flow to your vital organs, among other things.
The goal is to combat the physical and mental effects of everyday stress and ease common ailments such as headaches, backaches, anxiety, and insomnia with the use of restful poses and deep breathing techniques.
A principle of note includes cultivating the habit of attention. The mind should always focus on the breath. When you notice your mind wandering bring it back to the breath. Focus on where and how you hold tension and use the breath to release the tension. Breathe into the area identified and on the exhale release the tension.
FIND YOUR STILLPOINT
Corey Costanzo MA, LCASa, LMBT
is a Somatic (Body) Therapist, Mind/Body Wellness educator and Co-Owner of Still Point Wellness. He created the Didgeridoo Meditation at the Esalen Institute’s famed hot tubs, which has had over 25,000 participants. Ken Dychtwald, best-selling author of Bodymind writes, “Corey Costanzo’s Didgeridoo Meditation is a transportive experience that has left me feeling deeply connected to the mystery of life. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had at Esalen!”
Robin Fann-Costanzo began practicing yoga and massage at the Esalen Institute in 1994 and in 2003 created a weekly Restorative yoga class using the asanas, poetry, and sound vibration to invite students to go into a deep refuge of relaxation and self-awareness. She has studied with many teacher including Thomas Fortel, Shiva Rea, Erich Shiffman, Judith Lassiter, and blends her favorite aspects of them all into her teaching. Robin’s skills as a bodyworker have helped her to understand and support her yoga students in all stages of their lives. She has a deep love for yoga, and looks forward to sharing it with you.