Mind-Body Restorative Yoga

Tianne Allan
Instructor Tianne Allan
Average: 4.3 (90 votes)
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This class helps release deeply held tensions from the body with restorative yoga poses and clears the mind with a delightful Blue Sky meditation. With blankets supporting and creating comfort for our body, we will explore chest, shoulder and hip openers, twists, and a final, deeply restful Shavasana. All levels welcome.

“We need a small space where we can take care of our nervous system and restore our
tranquility and peace.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Relax

Equipment: Blankets
Style: Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Seniors, Yoga for Back Care


jenrrrr 2 years ago

I loved doing the wonderful restorative class at this point into the 30 day challenge. So relaxing for a Sunday practice too.

kebeyer 2 years ago

Wonderful relaxing class. Husband had a hard time staying awake!

Jimbob 2 years ago

I felt the visualisation and style of emphasis on relaxation took away from an otherwise good class. I am aware that the type of metaphor used, of the sky and thoughts as passing clouds, is common in some popular mindfulness programs; however, it just doesn’t work for some people, and takes quite a bit of practice for others, even experienced meditators. This seems to be due to the fact that you need to visualise something (blue sky) and then do something with your thoughts when they come up (see them as like clouds). These are both cognitive manoeuvres, and as such are not in themselves relaxing but take some effort.

This type of “mindfulness” has some other problems as well. It is essentially a visualisation. That is, it uses cognitive processes to take us away from the body, and from the here and now. That can certainly be relaxing but seems at odds with the emphasis on body awareness and being present. I think the reason traditional Buddhist meditation training generally starts with the breath, and body is that it is very successful. It functions as a relaxing practice, and an insight practice.

I was also disconcerted by the instruction to identify with the boundless, empty blue sky. Outside of a well-structured tradition such instructions can lead to a pseudo religiosity, or a vague spirituality by inferring that one is some boundless essence. Whether this is the case or not is not the point, but in this context, it is not an experienced fact, but rather imagined, much like the blue sky. I believe that such instructions from someone in a position of authority, or who is seen as being knowledgeable can lead people to a superficial meditation practice. Thus, denying them the opportunity to more fully explore these matters.

More troubling is the fact that some people can spontaneously (without training) experience the dissolution of self, particularly in moments of relaxation. While it may be fairly rare for this to be triggered by an instruction in a yoga class, it can happen. Such experiences can be very frightening for people, and in some cases lead to psychological disequilibrium. My view is, don’t suggest people dissolve to emptiness unless you really know what you are doing (that is are a fully trained yourself), and you are in the room with them.

I did really like the placement of the blankets though and found this helpful.