Restorative Svasansa

I Don’t Love Yoga, But I Love Yoga Workshops

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I attended a Restorative Yoga and Massage workshop at OMG Yoga in Rockford on Sunday. I’m not much of a yoga person, ordinarily. Indeed, there’re two problems. One, I don’t bend well. What can I say? I’m just not flexible. I can’t lower my heels in a downward facing dog, I can’t fold over my leg in a pigeon pose. And before you say it – I know. I know that way to get over these problems is to spend more time doing yoga. If you want to become flexible, you need to spend time… flexing. But here is the other problem: if I have time to work out, I’m far more likely to grab a barbell and lift weights. I love CrossFit and Olympic Lifting. Therefore, that is how I want to spend my spare time.

Yoga Workshops – Rest and Relax

yoga studio

So for now, I am unlikely to practice yoga on a regular basis. And I definitely am not into the “workout” yoga. As I said, I have my own ways of working out. But I do love workshops. Specifically, I love yoga or meditation workshops that are about relaxing and letting go of stress. In a workshop environment, I don’t feel “out of the loop.” A workshop is a perfect little capsule unto itself. Consequently, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t a regular to the studio. It doesn’t matter if you don’t practice consistently (or let’s be honest – at all.) Going to workshop is a perfect way to learn something new or experience something, without a long term commitment.

In fact, I pay attention to different studios in town. Namely, I watch OMG! Yoga’s Facebook page and I get emails for Seva, Expressions of Grace, Cascade Yoga Studio, and The Wellness Collective, to name a few. They have all offered workshops and one-time classes that I enjoyed. I like yoga nidra, breathwork, restorative classes, anything that helps me be at peace.

This is the second Restorative Yoga workshop I have taken at OMG! Yoga. Both times have been heavenly.

Here’s a description of the class from OMG’s Facebook page:

Join yoga instructor, Misty Weeks, and massage therapist, Mindy Girolami, for an afternoon of total relaxation. Misty will begin class with some gentle movement before assisting you into restorative postures using yoga props to help you find your most supportive expression. Once in each posture, Mindy will offer massage allowing you to fully release tension. With gentle movements between each posture, and massage once you’re settled in, this class will give your body the space to completely relax.

So, what happens in the workshop is Misty walks you through the poses, 5-7 poses over the course of two hours. You get into position, with your props, and relax. Then Mindy, from Beyond Trigger Points 2.0, comes around to each class member and gives you a mini massage. And so it is the most relaxing experience ever. And I had such a great time at their first workshop, I signed up to attend this second one!

Interview with Misty

Misty, who has been teaching yoga for a little over six years, is a friend of mine. I like her style of teaching. She’s very down to earth, she explains the poses in a way I can understand, nothing is overly technical. You can tell she wants this to be a pleasureable experience.

fter the workshop, I asked her a few questions:

What is the difference between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga?

Misty: The difference between Restorative and Yin – great question! Restorative yoga uses props (all of them!). There should be no tension in your body at all. If you feel tension anywhere, you use more props. Yin is about finding your edge and then backing off to 60 or 70% effort. In a Yin practice, you are stretching fascia, muscles, and embracing some discomfort. Restorative is no tension on the muscles…complete rest/relaxation. Also, Restorative class sizes are smaller (due to the potential complexity of prop set up), whereas Yin classes will be larger since minimal props are needed.

As a participant, I loved the atmosphere of the class, and how my stress seemed to disappear. What do you like about teaching classes like these?

Misty: I love empowering people to feel their best. It is very satisfying to feel energy settle down in the room and notice how blissed out students are as the practice progresses. It’s also fascinating to see how the most active, fidgety student in the room will begin to soften and melt after thirty minutes or so. As a teacher, it’s an incredible feeling to see the practice take hold and work.

The addition of massage to the poses is amazing! I’ve never seen that before.

Misty: What Mindy and I offer is not a traditional restorative practice. Typically in a restorative class, the teacher helps the student get into the pose and then leaves them alone, no touching. However, I feel like Mindy has such good energy and knowledgeable hands, that we are able to offer a great alternative to traditional Restorative practice.

That’s me in the striped socks, blissed out.

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