The Art of Slowing Down: Restorative Yoga

The Art of Slowing Down: Restorative Yoga

aIn a world of go-go-go, it can be both a real treat and a real challenge to slow things down.  With our minds and central nervous systems regularly bombarded with information, challenges, and stressors, it is incredibly important that we make time to find space to rest deeply.

That’s where Restorative Yoga practices come in.  The intention behind Restorative practices is creating a space for deep relaxation, which can facilitate an increase in the body’s ability to heal itself.

There are a number of different styles of restorative yoga practices; some involve more movement, some involve long holds in supported positions, and some incorporate other healing modalities, like sound or essential oils.  The important thing to understand is that styles will vary from class to class, and teacher to teacher – find what supports you best.

If you’re looking to de-stress in St. Louis or Kansas City, scroll on down to explore some of the restorative yoga classes offered throughout the metro area!

In the meantime, here are a few heart-opening (slight extension of the spine) to try in your own practice.  You can use pillows and blankets to create the props you need – let your main focus be getting as comfortable as possible.

Setting the mood for your restorative practice:

  • Do what you need to do to set the mood; perhaps dim the lights, turn on some mellow tunes (preferably with minimal lyrics and very down-tempo, like Harmony Epoch by our friend DJsNeverEndingStory), light a candle, change into some comfy clothes.
  • Set a timer on your phone in case you drift off into sleep (this is very common, and a great sign that your body is getting the rest it needs).  We recommend anywhere between 8 – 20 minutes per pose, depending on your comfort.

Reclined Goddess Pose

yoga buzz st louis restorative yoga april Morrison reclined goddess pose

What you need:  four blocks (or rolled up blankets or bath towels), one bolster (or pillow rolled up in a blanket).

Set up:  Place two blocks (or rolled up towels) at the back half of your mat to create an incline for your bolster.  The higher the incline, the less intense of the backbend.  Sit with your hips right against the lowest part of the bolster.  Gently lay yourself back, with your spine centered along the bolster.

This pose is also a great alternative to laying flat on the back during Savasana (final relaxation pose) for pregnant mamas.

yoga buzz restorative yoga st louis prenatal melissa dierker

Options:  Rest with your legs stretched out long in front of you, with your toes turned out.  Or, bring the soles of your feet together with the knees resting out wide (pictured).  Place blocks (or rolled up towels) along the outer edge of your knees to provide as much support as you need to rest the legs without any strain.

To come out:  Roll carefully onto either side to rest for a moment.  Slowly press yourself up to seated.  Take a moment to pause and reflect.

Reclined Heart Opener with Blanket

restorative yoga st louis yoga buzz amber howlett

What you need:  a blanket and a bolster (or a pillow wrapped up in a blanket)

Set up:  Roll your blanket into a long, cylindrical tube OR fold into a long, narrow shape and place lengthwise along theback half of your mat.  Place your bolster (or rolled up pillow in a blanket) horizontal along the front third of your mat.  Sit with the short end of your tubular blanket right at the base of your spine – lay back, placing the length of your spine along the center of the blanket.

st louis yoga buzz restorative yoga amber howled

Options:  The thicker the tube blanket, the more intense the backbend might be.  If you find it to be too uncomfortable to rest on, unroll your blanket a bit. Another option to lessen the intensity is to move the rolled up blanket away from your hips – so that the blanket starts at the mid back, and then goes up from there.  You might also consider rolling up a washcloth to place behind the curve of the neck to support the cervical spine.

To come out:  Roll carefully onto either side to rest for a moment.  Slowly press yourself up to seated.  Take a moment to pause and reflect.

Supported Fish Pose

elle potter yoga buzz st louis restorative yoga

What you need: Two blocks

Set up:  Set your two blocks up like the capital letter T.  Sit with your knees bent to start, and as you lay back, place the vertical block between your shoulder blades.  Avoid placing the block in the middle of the back – line it up so that it goes from the base of the neck to the space the bottom of the shoulder blades.  Using your hands, place the horizontal block behind your head at whatever height feels most supportive for your neck.  Experiment with stretching the legs out – keeping the knees bent will less any strain on the low back.

restorative yoga st louis elle potter yoga buzz fish pose

Options:  Knees bent or legs straight.  If this pose is too intense and makes it difficult to rest here, try the variation with the rolled up blanket rather than the blocks.

To come out:  Roll carefully off the blocks onto either side to rest for a moment.  Slowly press yourself up to seated.  Take a moment to pause and reflect.

 

Restorative Yoga Options in St. Louis

(scroll down for Kansas City)

Here is a list of Restorative Yoga classes throughout the St. Louis area.  Visit each studios’ website for class description, cost, length, and more details.  Did we miss one?  Include all the details in the comments below!

Monday

10 – 11:15 am | Mercy Clinic, at Clayton/Clarkson | Restorative
(sign up for the 6 week session vs drop-in)

7 pm | Agape Yoga Studio | Candlelight Restorative
(This class will move to Wednesday’s at 7:00pm starting January 3, 2018)

8 pm | My Lotus Yoga | Restorative Yoga | Donation based

 

Tuesday

9 am | Om Turtle Yoga and Spa, Ferguson | Slow Flow Restorative

12 pm | Blue Bird Yoga, St. Charles | Gentle Flow

7 pm | Om Turtle Yoga and Spa, Ferguson | Low Flow/Restorative

8 pm | Yoga Six, Highlands | Restorative

8 pm | Yoga Six, St. Louis | Restorative

 

Wednesday

5:30 pm | Unity Yoga and Wellness, O’Fallon IL | Renew and Restore

 

Thursday

9 am | Om Turtle Yoga and Spa, Ferguson | Slow Flow Restorative

6:15 – 7:30 pm | Jane’s House, St. Charles | Restorative
(Every first, third and fifth Thursday night)

7 pm | Om Turtle Yoga and Spa, Ferguson | Low Flow/Restorative

7 pm | Urban Breath, The Grove | Restorative

7 pm | Yoga Six, Des Peres | Restorative

8 pm | Yoga Six, Highlands | Restorative

8 pm | Yoga Six, St. Louis | Restorative

 

Friday

5:30 pm | Kitty Daly at the Big Bend Center | Restorative

5:45 pm | Shanti Yoga, Maplewood | Restorative

6:30 – 7:45 pm | Joy of Yoga, St. Louis | Restorative | Donation based

 

Saturday

8 am | Unity Yoga and Wellness, O’Fallon IL | Renew and Restore – Spirit

 

Sunday

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm | Blue Bird Yoga, St. Charles | Gentle Flow

4 – 5:15 pm | Blue Sky Yoga, St. Louis | Restorative

4 – 5:15 pm | Indigo Massage and Wellness | Restorative/Yin blend

4 pm | Yoga Six, Des Peres | Restorative

4:15 pm | Shanti Yoga, Maplewood | Restorative

5 – 6:30 pm | Yoga In DeMun, Clayton | Restorative
(This class meets every other Sunday)

5:30 pm | Unity Yoga and Wellness, O’Fallon IL | Love Yourself Well

6 – 7:15 pm | Practicing Yoga, St. Louis | Restorative

6:30 – 7:45 pm | Namaste, Kirkwood | Restorative

7 pm | Studio Gaia, Edwardsville | Gentle Yoga

7:30 pm | Urban Breath, The Grove | Restorative

 

Restorative Yoga Options in Kansas City

Here is a list of Restorative Yoga classes throughout the Kansas City area.  Visit each studios’ website for class description, cost, length, and more details.  Did we miss one?  Include all the details in the comments below!

Monday

9:30am | Serenity on the Square, Liberty, MO | Restorative

10:30am | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

10:45am | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

5:30pm | Yoga Fix, Mission, KS | Flow + Restore

6:30pm | ROKC, North Kansas City, MO | Restorative*

*Donation based classes for Warriors Ascent. www.warriorsascent.org

6:45pm | Breathe Deep Naturals, Kearney, MO | Restorative

7pm | Darling Yoga, Overland Park, KS | Restorative

7pm | Om Prana Yoga, Parkville, MO | Restorative

7:15pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

7:15pm | Nella Yoga, Kansas City, MO | Restorative/Deep Stretch

7:15pm | Yoga Six,  Leawood, KS | Deep Stretch

8pm | CorePower Yoga, Kansas City, MO | Restorative

Tuesday

9:30am | Darling Yoga, Overland Park, KS | Restorative

10am | KC Yoga CenterKansas City, MO | Gentle Therapeutic – Zona Rosa location

10am | Seeking Solace Yoga Studio, Overland Park, KS | Restorative

10am | Be the Journey Yoga, Kansas City, MO | Yoga Unplugged: Relax & Restore

10:30am | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS | Restorative

10:45am | Serenity on the Square, Liberty, MO  | Restorative

11:15am | The Yoga StudioOverland Park, KS | Restorative

6pm | IMYOGA,  St. Joseph, MO | Restorative*

*This class is held on the last Tuesday of the month

6:30pm | Rise and Shine KC,  Kansas City, MO | Restorative*

*Benefits those fighters/survivors/caregivers affected by cancer. www.jillshope.org

6:45pm | Breathe Yoga KC,Lenexa, KS | Restorative

7:15pm | Nella Yoga,  Kansas City, MO  | Restorative/Deep Stretch

7:15pm | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS | Restorative

7:30pm | Karma Tribe Yoga, Kansas City, MO | Restorative

7:45pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

 

Wednesday

8:30am | Woodside Health and Tennis Club, Westwood, KS  | Stretch and Restore

9:30am | Om Prana Yoga, Parkville, MO  | Move & Restore

10:30am | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

10:45am | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

6:15pm | KC Yoga Kula, Kansas City, MO  | Restore/Yin

6:30pm | Yoga Fix, Mission, KS  | Flow + Restore

7pm | Darling Yoga, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

7pm | Om Prana Yoga, Parkville, MO | Restorative

7pm | Serenity on the Square, Liberty, MO  | Restorative

7:15pm | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

7:30pm | Breathe Yoga KC, Lenexa, KS  | Restorative

7:30pm | Core Balance Yoga Center, Lees Summit, MO  | Stress Relief – Lakewood location

7:45pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

8pm | CorePower YogaKansas City, MO  | Restorative

Thursday

9am | Breathe Yoga KC, Lenexa, KS  | Restorative

10:30am | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

1:30pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

5:30pm | Be the Journey Yoga, Kansas City, MO  | Yoga Unplugged: Relax & Restore

7:15pm | KC Yoga Center, Kansas City, MO | Restorative – Zona Rosa location

7:15pm | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Restorative

Friday

10:30am | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

10:45am | Seeking Solace Yoga Studio, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

12pm | KC Yoga Kula, Kansas City, MO  | Restore/Yin

5:45pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

6pm | Om Prana Yoga, Parkville, MO  | Restorative

 

Saturday

Know any? Leave the info in the comments below!

 

Sunday

9am | , Lenexa, KS  | Restorative

9am | Yoga Fix, Mission, KS  | Restorative

10:30am | 68’s Inside Sports, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

11:30am | Darling Yoga, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

1pm | Core Balance Yoga Center, Lees Summit, MO  | Restorative*

*This is a 2 hour Restorative Yoga Practice every 3rd Sunday at the Raintree location

1pm | Learning2Fly, Mission, KS  | Aerial Yoga: Restore

3pm | Yoga Gallery, Overland Park KS  | Restorative

3:30pm | Yoga Six, Leawood, KS  | Deep Stretch

4:15pm | Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa, Overland Park, KS  | Restorative

4:30pm | Breathe Yoga KC, Lenexa, KS  | Restorative

5:30pm | CorePower Yoga, Kansas City, MO  | Restorative

6:15pm | KC Yoga Kula, Kansas City, MO  | Restore/Yin

6:30pm | Sage Center for Yoga and Healing Arts, Kansas City, MO  | Relax Deeply

 

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9 thoughts on “The Art of Slowing Down: Restorative Yoga”

  1. Wednesday, 7:15-8:30 pm at yoga source
    Restorative Yoga: What Blooms in Stillness
    With Pam Scholl

  2. Holly Margaret Ohmes

    Fridays at This Way Ladies on Hampton Ave. 6:30-8pm Candlelight Restorative, meets every other Friday

  3. Midtown Yoga KC currently offers the following restorative classes:

    Tuesday
    7:30-8:30pm Urban Zen

    Wednesday
    12:00-1:00pm Urban Zen

    Thursday
    7:30-8:30pm Urban Zen

    Sunday
    6:30-7:30pm Urban Zen

  4. She is Me – Sisterhood Restorative Yoga at Mindful Movements in St. Louis (1400 N. Market) Friday Evenings 6:00-7:15pm

    Classes begin Feb. 2nd!

Comments are closed.

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