This August, I embark on my final month of yoga teacher training. The last five months have flown by, and...
Vinyasa yoga is a dynamic, flowing style of yoga where movements are synchronised with breath.
Vinyasa can be slow, or more vigorous. We do sometimes hold poses, but each pose transitions seamlessly (mostly!) to the next.
Vinyasa is a journey through space, and a journey in to our minds via our focus on our breath and mindful awareness of our mental state as we practice.
It’s also wonderful exercise for the body – strengthening and lengthening the muscles.
Yoga Nidra is a powerful relaxation and meditation technique that aims to guide you into a state of ‘yogic sleep’ – where your body is fully relaxed, and your mind is alert and calm.
The most recognisable part of yoga nidra practice is the body rotation – where your teacher takes your awareness on a journey around your body, beginning with your right hand thumb, and travelling the right side, then left side, followed by the back and front of your body.
This is followed by breath awareness, and a number of visualisation practices.
Yoga nidra is a deeply nourishing, relaxing practice.
Restorative yoga is a practice of deep relaxation of the body and mind.
So often in modern life, we exist in a perpetual state of stress – with the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ instinct driving us. Anyone who has experienced ongoing stress or anxiety will know how horrible we can feel in both body and mind when in that state!
Restorative yoga is practised in order to turn off the stress response, and turn on the body’s natural ‘rest and digest’ response – which helps us sleep better, feel better, heal better, and, as the name suggests, digest our food better!
During restorative practise, we hold poses in a fully supported positions (with lots of bolsters, blankets, and pillows – it’s like a mindful slumber party!) for between 5-10 minutes.
I also like to include some extra-deep relaxation in the form of a yoga nidra practise in most of my restorative classes.