I love being a teacher. A teacher of yoga. And also teaching indoor cycling classes.
Because of what I do I have a weird schedule. Every day is a little different. Three out of my six teaching days I have a 9:15 a.m. class, a noon class and a class in the evening. Most of my days I have a gap from about 1:30 to 5ish.
This is when I run errands, have my lunch, get things done around the house, work on the blog, work on playlists and yoga sequences, catch up on e-mail, etc.
But I also hit a low in the middle of the day and get sleepy. Because I physically work I know at times my body needs rest.
My norm had been little cat naps. Sometimes they end up being longer. Somedays I feel great after my nap and other days not so much.
About five or six weeks ago I decided to trade my nap time in with a 30-minute Restorative Yoga practice. (I have been doing this about five times a week.)
Mondays are one of my harder days as I have three classes and it is my “Friday.” I don’t normally teach on Tuesdays. So by Monday I am pretty tired, sometimes a little slap happy.
I started Restorative practice instead of nap on a Monday. I felt so great after and felt energized for my Monday evening class. It’s a fun class and I like to be ready for that rowdy bunch.
I usually do about three poses. Depending on how my body is feeling or what is going on will help me dictate what I will practice. If nothing is dictating I will go with some of my favorite Restorative poses.
Yesterday my back was bothering me (because I had been busy cleaning the house) so I first did a Heart Opener over a blanket (I keep my knees bent in this pose), then supported Child’s Pose with a sandbag on my lower back and ended with a Supported Bridge.
I have lots of fancy props: bolsters, wool blankets, foam blocks, eye pillows, straps, sand bags …
But you don’t have to have all of that to practice Restorative Yoga at home. A couple of blankets and pillows will do. My mom and I did a practice together about a year and a half ago at her house with just pillows, blankets and towels. You can read about that practice here.
It’s interesting for me to go back to that post and reflect on the poses I chose for our practice. I have grown so much. I was still in my teacher training and was still learning about sequencing. And while still being a newbie I came up with those poses on the fly. (I would plan it differently if I were planning it today.)
Restorative Yoga is an important part of our yoga practice. It can be difficult to find time to carve out of our days to just “lie around.”
I get it. I used to work 40+ hours a week with a long commute. I hardly had time to eat dinner before I had to go to bed (since I got up at 5 a.m.). But even if you just have 5 minutes to sit and reflect. Take that time for yourself.
We are a society that doesn’t know how to relax. And we have this disease called busy. And it is getting in the way of us being healthy physically, mentally, emotionally …
Restorative Yoga saved me many times … from exhaustion, from feeling like I was completely crazy, from difficult and sad times …
Sometimes my Restorative practice turns into a nap. Sometimes I am really tired. Other times I am so relaxed I fall asleep.
I find that taking this time for me is good for me, my health, my energy level, sometimes gives me the opportunity to experiment with Restorative poses to teach, reviving myself when feeling tired, etc.