Sunday, September 15, 2019

YogaFit: Restorative

Oh jeez...I thought I had typed up this review and just now, very belatedly, realized I hadn't.

I attended this training May 30 to June 2 at the Minneapolis Mind/Body/Fitness conference in conjunction with the one-day Seniors session (reviewed in previous posting).

I will admit, Restorative is not my "favorite" style at this moment in time. However, I do feel understanding the importance of a restorative class, and how to construct a restorative class, is integral to being a well rounded instructor. It's also important to understand the difference between a true restorative session and a yin class. Both offer relaxing components, but one is inactive and one is still active.

I believe if you are taking the Yoga Therapy track, this is mandatory. If you are perusing the 300 hour (for your 500 hour certification) this is also mandatory.

For this training, I had Skila Ramirez, and I can assure you, she is incredibly passionate about her teaching and class. You are also going to need as many props as you can stuff into your suitcase for this and even then its not going to be enough: (From the YogaFit website) Bolster, block, 10 foot restorative strap or Seniors strap, eye pillow, yoga mat; Relax & Renew by Judith Lassiter; **From home/hotel: hotel blanket, 2 bath towels, 1 hand towel. Fortunately, if you are unable to bring everything (which I wasn't), we do partner up and there is lots of sharing.

What you will cover:
  • Basic and advanced restorative poses
  • How to strategically use props to enhance the body’s relaxation response
  • Breathing techniques that most effectively elicit the body’s relaxation response
  • Specific ways to address particular health or postural challenges
  • How to teach, by practicing in a group, in pairs, and solo
  • How to guide your students/clients to consciously relax using restorative poses, breathing techniques, and guided imagery
  • How to incorporate restorative poses into your therapeutically oriented sessions or within a group class structure
  • How to use props to bring about awareness of muscular and respiratory holding patterns

As I noted above, this was not my favorite session. This is in no way a reflection upon the instructor, but a relation to the subject matter. There was simply, not enough movement for my personal constitution, so I became very fidgety. Personally, I would have liked a moving (flow) aspect to master class before we settled into our restorative poses.

Now whether you can actually do a restorative class in your current teaching curriculum will depend a great deal on your situation. A studio or an independent is probably far more likely to have - or be able to obtain - the amount of props you'll need than a gym setting. If you teach at a gym, you may have to either bring your own props or greatly, greatly modify.

And a note on class size, Skila noted (if memory is correct) shouldn't be more than four people.  That in order to account for the number of props you would need, for assisting the student(s), and moving between the three or four poses that you would do (yes, only three or four), you should not be trying this with a large (ie more than four) class.  Unless you have an assistant, I would assume.

So that's my review on Restorative - it's important to understand the role of a restorative class, the structure and how to use or perhaps integrate into your setting (if possible).  

As of right now, I'm planning on attending next year's MBF in Minneapolis.  I'll probably do Kid's, and I'm debating between the Ayurveda I and II or the YogaFit HealthCare I tract.   I'm leaning toward Ayurveda...  stay tuned!

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