Last week, I partnered up with Sharon to conduct a restorative class for our fellow classmates as part of our practical training and I thought it might be interesting to share with you some of the tips that I have learnt.
Like what the name suggests, a restorative class aims to induce deep relaxation for the participants, sending them to a meditative state. I’d like to summarize our tips into how they influence the 5 senses that have. Hopefully you will find it useful and be able to incorporate this in your daily life ~
Ideally, the lighting should be dim and the space, clutter free. It is difficult to feel at ease with light glaring into your eyes and being in a space with a lot of things lying around you.
This is the space we prepared for our class participants.
It is advisable to play some relaxing background music – sound of nature (e.g. rain, waterfall, waves), meditative music. Lucky for us, as well as those in our class, it started raining a few minutes into our class, giving us extra Zen points.
After lots of research, Sharon picked this piece (link below) which has 432 Hz.
Apparently, listening to 432Hz music helps release emotional blockages and expands consciousness, allowing us to tune into the knowledge of the universe around us in a more intuitive way.
If you are keen to learn more about this magic number, feel free to click on the link below.
Usually, the poses are held longer (5 minutes per pose) in a restorative class. During those times, we took turns to play the singing bowl. The sound emitted from the singing bowl works as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain, depression, and stress disorders.
Here’s a quote from the director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor:
“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” — Dr. Mitchell Gaynor
If you are interested, this is where Sharon got her Singing Bowl:
The Singing Bowl Gallery (33 Erskine Road 01-05, 069333)
At the end of every pose, we used a pair of tingsha bells to signify the end of the pose and prepare the students for the next pose.
Random Fact: Krisianto fell asleep.. so something must be working 🙂
In our class, we lit up a slightly scented candle.
Alternatively, you can explore the wide range of scents that is available in the market to combine aromatherapy into your restorative yoga class.
Rose: one of the most common and noticeable, rose is a wonderful scent that is used by many thousands of people to enter a state of meditation. The smell also brings about thoughts of romance and love among its many pleasures.
Frankincense: This is ancient oil that has been used for thousands of years in both healing and spiritual practices. The fact that this was one of the gifts to the baby Jesus delivered by the three wise men has put it in an honoured place in the Christian religion. However, the fact that frankincense is one of the most precious aromatherapy gifts has not gone unnoticed even in modern times.
Rosemary: Another of the essential oils used in healing, rosemary also has a marvellous scent that is perfect for entering the proper state of meditation as well as brightening up the home. You can mix a few drops of rosemary essential oil with water and spray the room to help get the full effect or use an essential oil diffuser.
Cedar & Sage: Native Americans have used these products in many of their traditions which includes smudges and burning dried herbs. There is a type of sacred vibe that comes from the use of cedar and sage as essential oils which are unmatched by virtually all others.
Sandalwood: This is another ancient scent that is very much a part of the Christian and Hindu belief system. Used quite often for meditation, sandalwood has a very pleasing scent that offers a pathway to a calmer mindset which is why so many people opt for this particular essential oil.
Touch can be in the form of props or adjustments.
You can be creative with your choice of props. In our class, we made good use of the cushions and yoga blocks that were available in the studio. We also suggested our class participants to bring large towels, blankets, or bolster to enhance their experience in our class. Denise even brought her cute bunny soft toy 🙂
We did a few adjustments to help the students with their alignments and to help them relax deeper into their posture (e.g. pressing their shoulder blades down in Savasana, pressing on the lower back in Balasana). However, not all the adjustments were successful (sorry Tammy, Louine, and PQ!!!)
Note to self: Be extra gentle in the future.
With all the tips above being executed properly, your class participants should get a taste of an awesome restorative session. Pun intended.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to use this tips in your daily life to reduce stress and release tension.
Keep Calm & Relax~
September 2017 Weekend Class