Updated: May 17, 2019
Written By: Alison Chambers (@dtlvblogger)
Restorative Yoga with Nancy Pasquale and Reiki with Michele Ficano combines to give you an optimal relaxing, refreshing and yet energizing experience in this 2 hour session. As with many yoga and meditation sessions, we start with focusing inward and connecting with our breath.
Restorative yoga is simply the centering of your breath and body, that is, aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement for extended periods of time. The poses are more like a stretch held for an extended period of time (anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes), assisted by the use of props. Props can include bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets. This allows the muscles to relax, your heart rate to lower, and your nervous system to let go.
During my introductory session, my favorite pose was “Mountain Brook”, in which the instructor described it as imagining yourself as liquid flowing over the bolsters. One blanket is rolled to support your neck, one bolster is placed the long way under your upper back to gently open your chest and your arms are softly resting beside you or outstretched in a cactus-style position, and a second bolster or rolled blanket goes under your knees. Once in the pose, allow your body to settle and relax, and breathe naturally and calmly.
It felt wonderful on my shoulders and neck, a constant source of pain and tight muscles for me. We were told this is the best pose to counteract all the slumping over we do – sitting at a desk over a computer keyboard, looking down at our phones, etc. Soft, rhythmic music played in the background as the instructor’s soothing voice helped us find our way into the various poses.
Simultaneously, Michele, the Reiki Master Teacher, brought her touch to individuals as they held various poses. Reiki is a Japanese form of therapeutic touch that promotes relaxation, restores our natural balance, and enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression and bring relief from chronic pain.
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