Why restorative Yoga? Stress is an integral part of our life experience and one’s skill in managing stress plays a significant role in determining one’s quality of life. Well managed stress can make the difference between a good night’s sleep or not or being overwhelmed by the many challenges of life. We all desire to meet each situation with a composed mind but when there’s an excess build-up of stress, we often react from frustration or anger instead of the more desirable attitude of empathy and understanding.
Stress is inevitable, yet is linked to a myriad of unwanted health conditions. The practice of restorative yoga provides a clear and efficient path to relieving that stress on both a short and a long-term basis. In Restorative Yoga, a person lies over bolsters and blankets thereby lengthening the spine in a way that enhances deep breathing and relaxation. Restorative yoga poses provide gentle traction which decompresses the spine and other joints giving a sense of comfort and relief from pressures in the body.
In my bodywork/yoga therapy sessions, I take restorative yoga to a higher level of pain and illness management than can be done in a yoga class.I offer hands-on deep tissue bodywork in carefully chosen restorative yoga postures. My sessions are guided by what structural release makes the breath deeper, breath is the guide to safety. The result of a session is renewed and healthier structure as well as physiology.
Just one session can bring significant change to one’s structure including the spine, shoulder or pelvic girdle, ankles, knees, hips and often all of the above influence one another. So changing sturcture, improving joint alignment and flexibility changes pressures through out the body, creating more chances of relieving pain than having a focused approach on one body part at a time. And physiologically, pressures are reduced, and energy is enhanced around the heart, lungs, abdominal organs, brain, nerve plexus, hormones, etc.
Because of my own spinal injury in 1980, I pursued Iyengar yoga for its advanced therapeutic results, and to this day I continue to enjoy amazing results for my spine as well as for my overall health. Iyengar Yoga is the original source of the now popular Restorative Yoga which utilizes yoga props to enhance the use and benefits of yoga for all ages, particularly the more aged populations who are looking to put out less energy and to gain more relief from their myriad health conditions.
Restorative yoga is based on a vast body of knowledge that comes directly out of the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India, including the use of specially designed yoga equipment/props for working with what they call in India; medical conditions. There they call this work “medical yoga” or “therapeutics”. I have studied Iyengar Yoga in India and in American for over 30 years. It continues to grow and this outpouring of knowledge of what I consider to be based in both eastern yoga as well as western science. In America, and other continents outside India, the term Restorative Yoga has captured mainstream media attention.
I’ve had mentors since the early 90’s in this work, my early teacher, Ramanand Patel, to interpret Iyengar yoga as a system of hands-on bodywork for pain management. Today it comprises the foundation of my work in my private practice.
Another mentor of mine of 24 years and counting, is Doug Greene, DC. Dr Greene is a co-owner of Marin Yoga Therapeutics. He has an ability is grasp the science and art of various pain conditions with mastery and clarity. He elevates my mind to see subtle nuances of pain management from both a scientific as well as a broad holistic mind body view.
I continually incorporate Doug’s knowledge with all my accumulated knowledge to enhance my use of Iyengar Yoga for rebuilding healthier structure, particularly to joints and their surrounding areas, to rebuild healthy posture, to enhance deep breathing and, most importantly, to inspire clients and yoga students to increase their awareness of how to live in their body in the healthiest and most sensitive way.
These western and eastern principles are effective with all levels of health and healing, especially with all pain conditions from head to foot as well, as well as for issues that are deeper in the vital organs as well as to the nadis or prana otherwise known as vital energy, the nerve plexus and hormonal secretions. Nadi is the basis for the chakra system in yoga similar to meridians in Chinese Medicine. Conditions such as hypertension, blood pressure, asthma, digestion disorders, sleeplessness, panic attacks, and even benign tremor all show amazing improvement, to my continual amazement. The more people I work with the more I learn how effective is this combined system of eastern and western knowledge I fondly call yoga.
You may wonder how all this is experienced in one of my private bodywork sessions. A person is placed in appropriate restorative yoga positions with yoga props to aid in providing a deep sense of quietude and relaxation that starts to occur almost immediately. Over the hour or hour and a half, the body lets go of myriad layers of tension. Along with a sense of yielding to the positive forces of the props and their vector of force or intended angle of support, along with my hands-on adjustments. Both enable a person to relax deeper and breath more fully and feel a sense of lightness and spaciousness building over time.
You emerge refreshed, enlivened and with far less pain not to mention less anxiety or stress. Another benefit is your body begins to find its ideal posture for both standing or sitting that naturally yields an increase in flexibility, strength, mobility, energy and endurance. You can’t help but enjoy the reward of renewed confidence, bouyant youthfulness and natural beauty.
I’m inspired to share some of these successes in a few testimonials below, so you know how much people in pain can find relief.
Julia Lorimer C-IAYT, e RYT- 500, CNMT
Pain Management Specialist
Yoga and Meditation Teacher
Health and Life Coach