Restorative yoga is the exploration of one’s ease, relaxing into what is, and restoring the physical body, nervous system, and mind to a place of equanimity. It serves as an antidote to one of our society’s most common illnesses: stress. The practice of restorative yoga differs from other yoga practices because it is not about stretching or engaging the muscles, instead it asks the participant to let go and surrender to gravity; to be still.
Our nervous systems have not changed greatly since the time of the caveman, but our lifestyles sure have. In fact now a days many of us when hearing the word stillness experience conflict of desire and fear. Our desire to be still stems from the place of nervous system over-load. While many of us move throughout our day unaware of our sympathetic nervous system, performing, absorbing input, and exacting actions these all exist in the realm of fight-or-flight. Our fear and resistance on the other hand, is that if we stop doing- we will be flooded by the mind’s noise and have awareness of how we truly are. In fact in a recent study, people were asked to sit alone in a quiet room and they sat alongside a button that could administer an electric shock. The majority of the participants (twelve of the eighteen) choose to continually shock themselves rather than sitting quietly alone with their thoughts.
While it can be unsettling at times to get caught up in the mind chatter (chitta vrittis), cultivating a standing Restorative Yoga practice will aid in quieting the mind, settling the nervous system, and relaxing the muscular body. In 1973 a cardiologist named Herbert Benson delivered several powerful books that diagrammed the effects of stress on the body and coined the term “The Relaxation Response.” Dr. Benson’s research showed that the tentacles of stress are far reaching, and can effect almost every area of the body from high blood pressure to heart attacks, chronic pain, migraines, anxiety and depression, weight gain, and stroke. He also documented that, while the fight-or-flight and freeze response were involuntary responses based on the parasympathetic sympathetic nervous system- a person could also set up the conditions so that the “the relaxation response” could occur. The body’s response is: lowers blood pressure and heart rate, muscles relax, brainwaves slow down, decreases the body’s absorption of oxygen consumption, nurtures the organ body, aids in digestion, lowers adrenalin and cortisol in the body, aids in sleep.
Restorative yoga sets up the conditions for the relaxation response to occur by offering systems of support (props: blankets, bolsters, blocks, and straps), and a quiet and safe space to practice.
The practice allows us to open to our internal wisdom and the infinite landscape of our being, allowing us to nurture our body, mind and soul, and ultimately encourages internal bliss over mayhem. Come and experience for yourself in my weekly Restorative Yoga COMMUNITY CLASS, Sundays at 5:30 – 6:50 pm always $10 or one of my Restorative Yoga workshops held throughout the year, the next one is Saturday November 15th Holiday Glow Restorative Yoga
“Stillness is not the absence of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is un-conflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, un-conflicted participation in the moment you are in- when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing.” – Eric Shiffman
My joy is seeing students relax into their ease.
Sincerely, Kori Jones
About Kori has been practicing and incorporating Yoga in her life for over a decade. In that time she has developed skills from some of the best instructors Austin has to offer. Through her journey she has studied various practice styles including: Bikram, Baptiste Power yoga, Vinyasaa Flow, Yin, and Restorative. In 2012 she completed her 200 hr RYT with Gioconda Parker, ERYT-500. Since then Kori has gone on to receive her certification as a Relax and Renew trainer with author and world renowned teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater, and greatly enjoys teaching Restorative yoga. Additionally, she received her certification through Warriors at Ease to teach meditation and yoga to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and trauma (including emotional and physical- loss of limbs). She is excited to have the opportunity to volunteer at the Austin Vet Center, teaching yoga to combat veterans in an ongoing yoga class, and also works regularly with widows and widowers of fallen soldiers through the American Widow Project. After experiencing three- 14 month deployments- in her own family, she understands the need for community and having a safe place to explore and connect with one’s inner self. It is her intention as a yoga teacher to offer tools that help students connect to their own inner resource, enhance personal resilience, and empower them to regulate their body, mind, and spirit through awareness and self-care. Kori shares her life with her husband, a retired Army National Guard veteran, and their two beautiful children. She is also a bench jeweler and represents her passion for adornment through her company I-Rok Gems.