Saturday, January 16, 2010
Blissed and Blessed: an evening of restorative yoga
Mmmmmm.... Just got home from a juicy Restorative Yoga workshop at Om Shala led by visiting instructor Christine McArdle-Oquendo. It was two hours of candlelit yoga, accompanied by some incredible healing sounds from my friend Aaron Noble. While we ever-so slowly moved through our sequence, Aaron held the frequencies high with crystal singing bowls, chimes, and didgeridoo.
Can you say Sat Chit Ananda? Experience. Consciousness. Bliss.
We could barely all fit in the room with all the yogis, blankets, blocks, chairs, and straps! Each given a sheet of paper with the illustrated asana sequence, we were able to move through the sequence at our own pace, holding each pose as long as felt comfortable. In this way, it was like an individual practice, but with the energy and support of the group.
It is incredible how affective these poses can be on your mind/body. Often times we can get so competitive with ourselves in a vigorous Hatha Yoga practice, that we forget how to just relax and take it easy with asana. A simple pose like legs up the wall can be extremely beneficial when we focus conscious breathing for an extended period of time. Restorative Yoga utilizes particular asanas that activate the parasympathetic nervous system, causing the mind and body to slow down. By moving into stillness, we can experience more fully the essence of what we truly are - Absolute Bliss. We tune into Source. Refreshing and restoring our mind/body with fresh prana, new life.
I caught the wave and rode. Flowing deeply with the support and life-force of breath. Dropping deep into each pose, using each breath to breathe in healing light and compassion into every cell of my body. Sometimes I'd drift under water only to be pulled back up by the vibrational force of the didge, or an unexpected gong of the singing bowl to zap me back into the presence of the present. And then I'd just drop-in. Dwelling deep within the cave of the heart, flooding with Joy.
It was so beautiful to share the practice with the community. While we were each drifting off into our own realms of consciousness, we were also very much there together. Chanting together. Breathing together. Moving and flowing, loving and healing ourselves together.
If you have never done Restorative Yoga before, or it's just been a while. Go. It is such a nurturing and healing experience. Side effects may include feeling relaxed, released, restored, blissed, blessed, healed, light, loved, rejuvenated, clear, damage to sense of ego-self, heightened awareness of Self and Oneness, possible difficulty speaking in words, trouble finding your car keys, and/or sleepiness.
Jodie DiMinno teaches Restorative at Om Shala on Sundays 6:30-8p (following my Sadhana) and on Wednesdays 7-8:30p. Also check out this great article Aaron wrote on sound healing for Conscious Dancer Magazine! (page 26)
Let us continue to remember to love and support ourselves fully on this journey. Bless.