WINTER SOLSTICE invites us to turn inward; nourish, restore, let go, heal, listen deeply and reflect and for thousands of years it has been celebrated around the world, marking an auspicious shift in daylight, when we can begin to emerge from the darkness back into the light. Can we activate some powerful intentions by diving deep within ourselves and witnessing the hurt parts of ourselves, allow them to be seen and heard; then shed the old to make way for new ways of being as welcome the return of light.
Think of the Winter Solstice as the fourth and final reflection of your 2019 life-symphony and treat yourself to some ‘me time’ with the best yoga gift of all, a festive winter solstice morning of restorative yoga and yoga nidra, let go of what no longer serves you so that you may clear the slate for all that is coming your way.
Restorative yoga has an enormous capacity to heal physical and mental symptoms that are stress related. When the pace of life is fast, especially in December, our minds can easily become over stimulated — therefore our nervous system takes a beating and our immune system has to work extra hard. We may end up with a busy racing mind, or simply feeling overwhelmed, over worked, and exhausted – the result of which can bring on illness. The beauty of restorative Yoga is that there is no muscular contraction involved, we can actually achieve more opening in parts of the body that we perceive as tight by literally softening and relaxing.. During a restorative Yoga sequence, you still stretch, but at the same time you relax fully in to the stretch so that tension can be released on a deep cellular level. As we let go, we become softer and create space for our mind and body to connect with our natural innate qualities of inner calm, peace, love, compassion and understanding of others and self.
Restorative Yoga benefits
- Enhances flexibility
- Deeply relaxes the body
- Stills the mind
- Improves capacity for healing and balancing
- Balances the nervous system
- Boosts the immune system
- Develops qualities of compassion toward others and self
- Enhances and balances mood states
In Restorative yoga, each pose is held for 10 – 20 minutes and props such as soft bolsters, straps, sand bags, blankets, chairs and eye bags are used to support the body allowing you to open and release deep tension through passive stretching in a very nurturing way. This is a great way to realign the body and mind after injury or trauma (both physical or emotional) and to reset held patterns of misalignment. You simply lie back and relax in position, supported by the props. Afterwards you will feel completely nourished and absolutely heavenly!
The last 30 minutes of the session will be a guided meditation yoga sleep which is an even deeper effortless state of relaxation. You simply lie down comfortably and cool the body and relax whilst my voice guides you. Yoga Nidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity and is one of the deepest of all meditations, leading awareness through many levels of mental process to a state of supreme stillness and insight. The state of Yoga Nidra, conscious Deep Sleep, is beyond or subtler than the imagery and mental process of the Waking and Dreaming states. In Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go through the Dreaming state, and into the Deep Sleep state, yet remain fully awake.