I may have mentioned once or twice that in Chinese Astrology I am a Yellow Dog. Not only am I prone to drooling in my sleep but I can also catch a Frisbee between my teeth, forgive instantaneously and love unconditionally. I am also fiercely loyal. Loyalty is, at times, a curse. It makes it difficult for me to try new things without feeling as though I’m being unfaithful.
But on Sunday I overcame those feelings and attended my first ever Restorative Yoga Class. I was on a quest. I needed calm. I wanted my mind to clear and my nervous system to unwind. I didn’t need to break a sweat. I didn’t need to feel the burn. I didn’t need my heart pumping within 85% of its maximum rate.
I considered a Yin session at home, but I’ve been making an effort to get out more. And so that’s how I found myself at my local JCC at 5:15 on a sunny afternoon.
Chihiro is a lovely teacher. Confident and quiet, she demonstrated all three poses we completed in the hour-long class. Yes, that’s right. THREE poses: the first was a supported chest opener, the second took our legs up the wall and the third was supported relaxation. As my body melted into the work, Chihiro observed, corrected and comforted students with a whisper.
In my Yin class on Monday, I mentioned the Restorative class. Several students wanted to know the difference between to two styles of yoga.
Here it is:
The Difference Between Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga
Restorative Yoga uses props to create support and reduce stress on the body.
Yin purposely places stress on the connective tissue.
Yin requires that the practitioner open to discomfort rather than requiring comfort in order to open.
It was important for me to allow my inner Yellow Dog to run off leash. Chihiro’s restorative class offered the support I needed and I learned a valuable lesson. Even though my yoga loves are Yin and Iyengar, there are times when other schools of yoga are better able to heal my body, mind and spirit.