In Restorative yoga, props support the body for longer-held and effortless asana, an ancient practice. The activated parasympathetic relaxation response releases deep tissue tension and physiological symptoms of stress, while reintegrating the layers of our being into wholeness.
In this workshop, fifth century yoga from Patanjali is experienced in a twenty-first century setting, the October Om Yoga Show in London.
Following the advice of a yoga practitioner and commentator of the ninth century Vacaspati Mishra to observe the resting poses of other life-forms, participants are led to experience a few of the dozen poses listed in the fifth century Patanjaliyogashastra where Vyasa comments upon Patanjali’s well-known sutra, sthirasukham asanam.
Participants find the erect spine in sitting with the plumbline of gravity, using a variety of props, to experience padmasana or the resting pose of the lotus. Then, taking a gentle approach to padmasana in suptabaddhakonasana where the hands’ weight in the groins replaces the contact of the feet, the spine can align with the ground, aligning the spines progressively more subtle with the use of the vyahrtis of the Gayatri mantra.
Finally we embody the vairagya of the trees letting the leaves stream off as the life-force withdraws to the roots, sinking deeper into the substratum of Being.
Om Yoga Show, Alexandra Palace