How many of us have thrown our hands up into the air and said
“There are just NOT enough hours in the day!”
These days, we all lead crazy busy lives, there is (for the lucky amongst us) a job to go to, kids to feed, teach and ferry around plus significant others to pander too.
But where do you come in that long “to do” list?
We don’t make the nurturing ourselves as important as nurturing those around us and although, (again the lucky amongst us) may get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep most of us never take time out to rest.
For the past month I’ve taken time out each Sunday for a restorative yoga practice. In restorative yoga, props such as blocks, bolsters and blankets are used to support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open up the body through passive stretching. The more supported the body is in these poses the more relaxed you will feel.
Restorative yoga is a very nourishing type of practice, which leaves you feeling open, refreshed and relaxed. It’s recommended that you do a restorative practice first thing in the morning to awaken the body and clear the mind before starting your day, however I quite often do mine in the late afternoon or evening as a way to wind down from my day.
Yesterday as a birthday treat to myself I went along to the “Sunday Retreat” (a restorative session on steroids” which was held at The Centre, a new yoga studio in Kingsland “conveniently” located above the Little Bird Unbakery.
“Self-improvement and self-indulgence come together perfectly in an unforgettable afternoon of yoga and divine food.
Karla Brodie begins the class with a conversation about our digestive, immune, nervous and respiratory systems and how yoga helps these elements of our bodies.
She then leads a series of supported and undemanding postures which are restorative to the internal organs. Once thoroughly blissed out, the class will share a delicious and nourishing winter feast prepared by our little bird chefs!”
They had me at winter feast …
I had met Karla Brodie previously through the free classes at Lululemon, she lead an extreme slow flow practice. Like as in so slow if you walked passed and looked in the window you would be sure you were seeing life in slow motion and quite frankly I hated it. I prefer a really full on athletic yoga practice, however yesterday being Sunday I was ready to live life in slow motion for a few hours.
Although I’d never been to The Centre (after all it’s only been open four weeks), I had been to the Little Bird Unbakery so I knew where to go. Finding the way in was another matter as none of the doors had signs that I could see, thankfully the staff in the unbakery pointed us in the right direction. (FYI – Enter the black door at the far right hand side of the building and go up the stairs).
The Centre is small, but perfectly formed and natural light floods the main floor, half of which is carpeted and half of which has a faux wood lino covering and the best part? It has a log burning fire (and even with the little bird offering the fire was probably the biggest draw card for me, I hate being cold).
Rebecca has set up “The Centre” with no allegiances, which enables her clients the freedom to access a broad range of yoga styles in one location, but what I love even more is that she gives back to the community by holding free classes for people living with cancer and gold coin donation classes for senior citizen all directly funded by class and special event fees.
I was too busy being blissed out to take much in but I think we had about 14 ladies in attendance? Being a restorative session the number wasn’t an issue since we basically just lay in one position for long lengths time. I’m not sure how it would work with that number in a class where you moved your arms around a lot, but I guess you’d just stagger on your mat so you didn’t knock anyone out.
Karla started with a wee talk and then taught us how to use props (blocks, blankets and bolsters) to enable us to get into resting positions. Then as we rested she would guide us through different breathing techniques.
I think all up the yoga portion of the retreat was 2.5 hours (give or take) and then we moved into the winter feast (and what a feast!).
Karla and her sidekick Emma (who would come along and tuck you in so you were super snugly) held an amazing restorative retreat and even though I’ve been doing restorative for a wee while I still learned a new position and different ways to use the props I already own.
I was talking to another participant who mentioned that Karla runs weekend retreats in the Coromandel which include 2 three hour restorative sessions a day and a session upon arrival on Friday night. However for me restorative yoga is like ice cream, you definitely CAN have too much of a good thing, one Sunday afternoon session a week is just right!
Till next time