Many of us know Rachael Moore as our resident Vinyasa flow guru, but not as many know about her love for restorative yoga. It's all about nourishing the body and mind while taking time for oneself amidst the cloud of our busy, and often hectic lives. We spoke to Rachael about her new class Flow + Restore which combines two very different, but very compatible styles of yoga. Read on to find out more.
What is the Flow + Restore Class?
Flow and Restore is something that i will often do in my own practice when i need to slow down, nourish myself and restore my energy levels. It is a slow mindful practice where i am able to coax my often tight body and busy mind into a state of relaxation through rhythmic, often circular movements before settling into supported stillness where your body is held and supported with props.
How does it differ from a regular Restorative or Flow class?
Although the postures that we explore in the restore aspect of the class will be very similar to those in a regular restorative class, the way we enter the posture is a little different. It is as if we are using the flow aspect the practice, to prepare and limber the body (and mind) for the longer-held restorative posture. You may find that it is then easier to settle into the posture once you have had chance to ease into it though movement. In a regular flow class, there is very much an emphasis on dynamic movement with the breath to create strength, flexibility and stability. Although there remains a strong awareness of the breath during Flow and Restore, it is more about tuning into the quality of our breath and the quiet sensations that we so often fail to notice in a faster paced, movement focused practice.
Is the class suitable for all levels?
Yes! Students newer to the practice may appreciate the slower, less demanding pace just as much as the more "advanced" student may appreciate the opportunity to explore different aspects of their practice. Regardless of where a student is in their practice, or in their life, it can be a revelation to be able to simply move with gentle undulations before coming to a place of rest.
What can students expect from the class?
You can expect gentle guided movements and explorations of the body, tapping into your internal compass of how your body needs to move, be moved and be nourished. While resting and being held in the restorative postures, I offer students the opportunity to have simple, gentle hands on assists with therapeutic grade essential oils, matched to the theme of the practice. This adds another layer and potency to this practice and compliment a restorative practice beautifully.
What are the benefits of a restorative practice for students who usually attend more yang/dynamic classes?
I think regardless of what style of yoga you normally practice, and actually even if you normally aren’t a yoga practitioner, we can all benefit from a little re-callibration through our nervous system. We all increasingly live in such fast forward moving society that the opportunity to drop back and yield with no expectation other than to rest, restore and replenish are few and far between. This practice gives our nervous system a much needed opportunity to move from our Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) towards the Para-sympathetic NS (Rest and Digest). As we begin to soften and yield, we may notice the breath becoming freer, more naturally flowing un-obstructed through the body giving rise to feelings of increased energy, vitality and general well being.
Can you recommend any books etc for students that wish to find out more about this style?
Judith Hanson Lasater - Relax and Renew Book is the bible of restorative yoga and is one that I regularly refer back too. I actually have not found many good books out there in this area, so if anyone else has some good recommendations I would love to hear about them. Please comment down below!