Restorative yoga gave me a place to heal, to restore myself. It allowed me to find stillness so I could rest and renew. It allowed me to quiet my mind and begin to hear my own heart and soul and spirit. Restorative yoga allowed me to find my breath so I could feel calm and relaxed.
Restorative Supta Baddha Konasana|Reclined Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose
Put another way, restorative yoga is my jam. In fact, it is a part of every heritage and healing experience we offer. We include restorative yoga because as Black people we do enough high-effort coping as we navigate race-based stress and trauma, which our teacher Dr. Gail Parker reminds us is “ongoing, recurrent and cumulative.”
Restorative Yoga is an ideal self-care practice for healing and managing stress and trauma, including race-based stress and trauma.
RESTORATIVE YOGA [is] soothing, as relaxing as massage, and more restful than a nap.
Restorative yoga helps [us] learn to rest deeply, relax completely, & rejuvenate physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.
A restorative yoga practice is one that is consists a short series of poses where you are fully supported by props, including blankets, blocks and bolsters. With the support of yoga props along with the “gentle pressure of gravity every tissue in your body can receive movement from the breath”. Restorative yoga can be healing because the poses in the practice allow the breath to reach and the body to relax and open in places that for many of us are often “unreached, blocked, constricted, tight, closed and tightly-held”.
Parker, Gail. Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma. London: Singing Dragon, 2020.
Burke, Amber. Yoga International.