Tag Archives: relaxation

Katie’s Bookshelf: Relax and Renew by Judith Hanson Lasater

relaxandrenewI just completed Level 1 training of Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew: Learning to Teach Restorative Yoga so it’s fitting to review the book.  This is the book for all things restorative yoga.  She provides information on the benefits of this type of yoga and a thorough explanation on all of the props used as well as how to make props out of regular household items.  Several chapters have specifically designed sequences for such things as basic relaxation, insomnia, travel, pregnancy, and back pain.  Each chapter has beautiful photographs of each pose, a description of how to get in and out of the pose, how long to stay in, as well as benefits and cautions.  This book is accessible for the novice, experienced yogi, or teacher.

Relax and Renew is not designed to be read from cover to cover, but more of a “take what you need” approach.  If you are interested in restorative yoga, this is where you start!

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in learning more about restorative yoga
  • Have a desire to teach restorative yoga

 

Buy it here.

Lasater, J. H., & Schatz, M. P. (2011). Relax and renew: restful yoga for stressful times. Berkeley: Rodmell.

Lasater Yoga’s 21-Day Savasana Intensive – My thoughts

savasanaintensiveI recently completed Lasater Yoga’s 21-day Savasana Intensive.  Seems strange that Savasana(relaxation) and intensive can go in the same sentence huh?  Well THEY DO!  Savasana can be one of if not the most difficult poses in yoga.  “Why?  You just lie on the floor?”  Well yes.  That’s where the real work happens.  Not the outer body work that we are used to doing in a flow class.  It’s more about the inner work.  Savasana(or Relaxation Pose) is a place to land and notice.  Things will present themselves during this stillness; feelings, thoughts, sensations, the dreaded “judgement” word, etc.  In savasana, we can learn to sit through all of it without doing anything.  We are so used to “doing” that we forget about “being.”  Judith Hanson Lasater said during one of the audio recordings, “savasana prepares us for death.”  Whoa.  Sit with that for a minute.

Judith and her daughter, Lizzie lead the practitioner through 21-days of rest.  Each day has either an audio recording about the art of savasana, or a video tutorial on setting up.  A couple of days included guided meditation and breathwork to begin savasana.  The expectation is to listen or watch then practice savasana for 20-minutes.  You saw that I said “practice savasana” right?  This time on your mat shows up differently each day and can be challenging in different ways.  It is most certainly a practice.

I started this program in January and committed to practicing each day that I was at my office.  I am fortunate to have a very peaceful “Breathe” room that is perfect for just this.  I can confirm that I followed my plan.  Looking back, I wish I had practiced everyday to really see the effects.  The good news is that once you pay for the program, you have access to it forever.  I will practice everyday next go-around.

I learned throughout the practice how sacred rest really is.  I learned that I can take a break in the middle of the day for rest.  I learned that a “real” savasana is at least 10-minutes.  I learned new ways to set up savasana.  I learned breathing techniques to lead in to savasana.  I learned why savasana is so important.  I learned that I need rest.

 

Do this program if:

  • You would like to take your understanding of savasana deeper
  • You are a yoga teacher(you get 20 CE hours upon completion!)
  • You are a practitioner of yoga
  • You need rest

Restorative Yoga @ Noda Yoga

File_000 (1)Join Katie Rodgers, LCSW & RYT-200 at Noda Yoga(3201 North Davidson Street, above Cabo Fish Taco) every Thursday at 9:30am and every other Sunday at 5pm for a 75-minute Restorative Yoga Class.  No prior experience is needed and this type of yoga can accommodate all body types.  Katie is a “Relax and Renew® Advanced Trainer” through Judith Hanson Lasater.

Restorative Yoga is best described as “conscious relaxation.”  This type of yoga is the most effective in calming and relaxing the body which in turn, relaxes and settles the mind.  So often our bodies operate from the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for keeping us alert as well as preparing for incoming stressors.  This is that “fight, flight, or freeze” mode the we have all experienced.  Our bodies can handle being in this mode, however it is not equipped to be here ALL the time.  The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for our rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation.  It is beneficial to tap into this system more than we do.

In restorative yoga, poses are held longer with the support of props.  All poses are on the ground and the body is fully supported in order to sink into the pose.  Because the body is fully supported, messages are sent to the brain to release tension and relax.  The longer the poses are held, the more tension is released, and then the mind and body can deeply relax.

Oftentimes in restorative yoga, people will start to learn more about their body, such as where they hold tension or where pain is originating from.  As a result of this practice, tension is released in those areas in our day to day lives.

The practice is meditative in nature complemented with rhythmic breath work to calm the fluctuations of the mind.

Restorative yoga can bring up emotions and thoughts that have been neglected or are lingering in the body.  This type of yoga teaches us to acknowledge these emotions and thoughts without doing anything as they will be released.  This is an important lesson that will follow off the mat.

Restorative yoga compliments a busy, stressful lifestyle and is generally accessible for all levels and types of bodies.