There is something particularly magical about Restorative Yoga. These gentle poses invite relaxation and rejuvenation, but also teach us that sometimes less is more. Restorative Yoga is very subtle in that we are not looking for activity or even a deep stretch (as is the case in Yin Yoga); but instead the goal is deep comfort and support. You’ll be amazed to see how much healing can happen when we create a space for ourselves that is truly relaxing, safe and comfortable.
I believe the body has an innate ability and inclination to heal itself. Naturally as we sleep, our bodies get to repair, recharge and rejuvenate. But at times the stress and challenges we are confronted with in our modern world are too much and we benefit from some extra support in staying grounded and centered. If life has been particularly demanding for you, or you are noticing symptoms of stress such as tension in neck, shoulders and jaw, difficulty sleeping, changes in eating habits, feeling wired and tired, this retreat is for you!
TEACHER: Ellen Cremer
LEVEL: Relaxing 1
DURATION: 7 Days
TOTAL PRACTICES: 7
Your Weekly Practices
SETUP YOUR PRACTICE SPACE: Is there one dedicated space where you can leave your props so they are readily available? Or do you like the flexibility to practice on your deck on sunny days? Some privacy is helpful; plus consider turning off your phone, asking for some quiet time from family and keeping excited pets in another room.
PROPS: Here's a general list of props you should have on hand; you may not need all of these depending on the Challenge you're doing. Plus, I announce at the beginning of each practice what you'll need that day. Yoga props are easily found online or at a local sporting goods store.
• Yoga mat
• Two foam Yoga blocks, 4 inch width
• Blankets or pillows (optional: household blankets)
• Yoga bolster (required for most Restorative practices)
• Yoga strap (optional: belt or scarf)
• Therapy balls (only needed for self-massage practices; tennis balls work too)
SHOULD I EAT BEFORE PRACTICE? Try to avoid eating 1-2 hours before any activity; but as with all things, adjust to suit your needs and lifestyle. Avoid caffeine before any relaxation practices.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY? WHEN? It's ok to skip days, take breaks and adjust the schedule to fit your needs! Also each day has a suggested practice time (generally active in the morning, relaxing in the evening); but as always listen to your body and don't be afraid to experiment and modify.
RESPECT YOUR LIMITATIONS: It’s important to remember that not every single Yoga pose offered here is right for everyone, especially with old injuries or other limitations. Please be patient with yourself as you begin this journey and feel free to take breaks or modify as needed.
PRACTICE DETAILS and PROGRESS: Next to each practice you'll find some notes on length, time to practice and what to expect (see sample to the right). When you complete each practice, click the Mark Complete button to save your progress. As you move through the Challenge, you'll see the Progress pie chart change to reflect your progress. You can always click the COMPLETED button again if you want to do that practice over again.
Here are a few optional classes either for background or for further exploration.
The world demands from us to be proactive and successful; our culture values accomplishment and striving. And while these aspirations are important, there is a downside to it all when we find ourselves constantly in a place of ‘needing to do more.’ Restorative Yoga is the art of Not Doing. By choosing this retreat I’d like to acknowledge your willingness to listen deeply to your body’s needs for quiet and rest—and the courage that it takes to stop and turn inward when the whole world is demanding the opposite.
When we move towards rest and quietness, it is not unusual to become more aware of all sorts of patterns that have moved you away from feeling settled and easy in yourself. When you notice some restlessness arise, remember that this is part of your healing—letting go of some of those patterns. Try and meet ALL parts of yourself with as much kindness and gentleness as possible. Be patient, relaxation is a process and takes a little time. But also know that Restorative Yoga is like an art that can be mastered over time. While we may not be able to control everything in life, we can certainly cultivate tools that help us deal with life’s challenges. And I believe Restorative Yoga is just fabulous in helping us be with challenges in a more grounded way.
Enjoy yourself and good luck!
— Ellen Cremer, Owner
Evening • 54 min
Evening • 34 min
Evening • 47 min
Evening • 30 min
Day 5 • Wall Wind Down + Guided Relaxation 1
Today let’s combine two practices for a deep dive into supported inversions. The first few poses can be done without your bolster if you are dealing with a back injury or high blood pressure. ‘Wall Wind Down’ finishes seated; complete your practice with a Relaxation.
Evening • 48 min
Evening • 30 min
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