To learn about Restorative Yoga and the benefits yoga will add to a lifestyle of wellness, I reached out to Anthea Browne, a Restorative Yoga teacher in Sooke, B.C. I asked her my burning question “why yoga”? Why would Restorative Yoga be a beneficial part of a healthy lifestyle of wellness?
I mean, life is busy!! There are so many “things to do” to make life great that one could spend all day doing those “things” and never get down to the business of work! There needs to be a good reason “why” to incorporate yoga into an already hectic schedule.
Anthea explains how yoga can actually help to ease the stress caused from having a hectic schedule. Interestingly yoga helps calm the mind which makes coping with the stress of everyday life easier! Now that sounds like a great reason to get stretching!
The wellness benefits of Restorative yoga that Anthea describes have inspired me to reach for my mat!! If that’s what yoga can provide, then I want that!! Anthea’s description of the Restorative Yoga practice that she teaches sounds amazing! I actually took a deep breath and felt my shoulders soften after reading the word, restorative. Doesn’t that sound so fulfilling?
Anthea teaches weekly Restorative Yoga classes at Sooke Yoga Center. But guess what?
Anthea also teaches private lessons where she sets you up with a personalized yoga plan!! I LOVE the idea of a personalized plan!! A personalized plan means every time your on the mat the postures are perfectly suited for your body.
Now that’s a yoga practice to carry through with!
Below I have included the piece Anthea wrote about Restorative Yoga and the amazing benefits it provides our mind, body and spirit.
Enjoy reading about Restorative yoga benefits in her words… I hope to see you in one of her classes!!
Restorative Yoga By Anthea Browne
Restorative Yoga is a nurturing practice that uses bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps for support. The student stays in each pose for 5 to 10 minutes, as tension unravels and stress melts away. These postures are designed to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, bringing relaxation to the body and mind, promoting holistic health.
Restorative Yoga postures are part of the system taught by BKS Iyengar. Mr. Iyengar introduced props, modifying each posture until a student could perform it with ease. He then began using these postures therapeutically, bringing bodies into alignment, and a state of health.
Restorative yoga can be an incredible effective antidote for chronic pain. Most chronic pain has its roots in a physical injury or illness, but it is sustained by how that initial trauma changes not just the body but also the mind-body relationship. Relaxation turns off the stress response and directs the body’s energy to growth, repair, immune function and digestion. The best way to unlearn chronic pain and stress responses is to pattern a healthier response for both mind and body. Restorative Yoga offers a way for the student to retrain neural pathways by practicing healthy alternatives.
Supported inversions, or even partial inversions, where the heart is over the head offer further benefit in triggering the relaxation response. The nerves that control our heart rate and blood pressure are regulated by pressure sensors called ‘baroreceptors. In supported inversions with the head below the heart, the blood flows toward the head, increasing pressure on the carotid sinus and aortic arch. This triggers the baroreceptors to initiate a relaxation response.
Nurturing the body and spirit by settling deeply into Restorative Yoga postures, allows emotions to be released and processed, and the mind to settle into a calmer state. Even practicing just one or two of these nurturing postures, like lying on the back with the legs up the wall or calves on the couch, generates a state of peace and well-being.
If regular Hatha Yoga were like a balanced meal for our body and mind, Restorative Yoga would be a nutritious dessert. Soothing to the senses, chockfull of health benefits and as easy to do as settling down on the couch for a nap.
Anthea can be found teaching Restorative Yoga at 7:30 p.m.on Wednesday nights at Sooke Yoga and Wellness.
You can contact Anthea to set up your own home practice by email:
Or by phone 250-208-0300
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Did you find this article as inspiring as I have? How is your Yoga practice going? What style do you like?
I love your feedback… Talk again soon
If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.
– Victoria Erickson
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