Three Questions: Beverley Nolan

Three Questions: Beverley Nolan

bevHow did you discover restorative yoga?

BEVERLEY: Through my initial Iyengar Teacher training. In addition to the rigours of our 5am asana sessions, we practiced restorative every afternoon to prime us for the work in the evenings. So, I have always had Restorative as an integral part of my practice. What I feel is happening now is that interest in approaches like Restorative, Yin, and Scaravelli, which are perhaps more tamasic in feeling, are helping to restore sattva (harmony or balance) to the yoga world that has seen an explosion of rajasic practices like the dynamic, power, and hot approaches.

What is the best amount of time to spend in a restorative posture?

BEVERLEY: Firstly, like all asana practice, if something is uncomfortable or indeed painful you adjust or let it go. Depending on the pose, the duration could be anything to 5-15mins. The important thing to remember is not to stretch! As odd as that sounds, the practice is designed to deactivate aspects of the nervous system that are primed for action and put them into the back seat. Giving ourselves the permission not to do anything is probably the biggest challenge of the form.

Is yoga historically a men's practice or have women always done it too?

BEVERLEY: We have to remember that surviving documents and archaeological fragments are only a glimpse into the history of humanity’s search into the nature of being. It is true to say that many of the images and stories that have survived depict more male than female participants; but it is certainly not exclusive. I would imagine that along with many culture and traditions the Divine Feminine and the role of woman in understanding the nature of being will have at times been revered and encouraged, and at times will have suffered from the rise and dissemination of partriarchal influence. The important thing to remember is that Love is completely unconditional, completely unjudgemental and in fact totally indifferent to gender, and it is Love that lies at the heart of it all.