I gotta say I am not doing enough restorative practices. If I go to a yoga class I always choose to go to a vinyasa class or a hatha class… yin or restorative would be on the bottom on my list… or to be honest… I can count how many times I take these class for all these years of practice.
I am spending a few weeks here in countryside in Hokkaido, Japan. With the beautiful weather here I thought I would pick up my old jump rope routine again, an exercise I have dropped for months since I started teaching. I also jog from time to time and do some resistance exercises. The result? I am really stiff as I am used to these exercises.
On top of that since we are on holidays the day is always super busy from visiting the farms to hiking to overnight camping. I certainly do not feel like doing another power practice.
In the last few days I have been doing some longer hold restorative practice. Even I said “restorative” they are not easy. It is a practice that my teacher recommended us to do twice a week. It’s 30 minutes with 6 poses, each poses with 5 minutes hold.
1, Downward Facing Dog
2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
3. Headstand (Sirsasana)
If you cannot do Headstand yet you can try with Dophin pose.
4. Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)
If you found this leg position too difficult you can place a block under your hip and slowly dome down to your elbows. You do not have to go all the way down.
5. Shoulder stand
*** I hurt my shoulder the other day so I replaced with plough pose.
As I said, don’t estimate this practice. It’s not easy, especially if you are really engaging your muscles and actually DO THE POSE throughout the 5 minutes. It also takes a while for the pose and alignments to sink in. After you get in the pose, try to stay still and do not readjust the position too much. Focus on your breath and it can help you go deeper into the poses. In the 5 minutes hold, also try to “feel” your pose. You would start to realise which part of your body could possibly be misaligned, and bring us awareness to how our poses are like.
It’s a great practice not just for the body but also for the mind.
Give it a try.