THE SHIVA YOGA SHALA in Fort Myers
I tried out a new yoga studio last night by practicing a style of yoga that I was unfamiliar with. Restorative Yoga offered at Shiva Yoga Shala was exactly that, restorative. Restorative yoga is the centering of your breath and body by practicing stillness. For me, stillness is not something I am good at. Nor did I consider it to be beneficial to my health. I gravitate to Bikram Yoga classes (hard and sweaty workouts), so this was an out of my comfort zone experience for me. I have learned over time that if I give into the awkward, uncomfortable moments I learn and grow leaps and bounds from them. From the moment I walked into the beautiful studio and met the owner, I knew it would be easy to put aside any expectations or fears of the unknown and just be present. Being able to let go of my thoughts and relax was not something I was confident in.
For me, practicing stillness is like doing a difficult chore. Asking me to run 100 flights of stairs sounds easier than asking me to relax and meditate. I literally felt like I needed to prepare my mind for the restorative class and thought there was no way I would accomplish what was meant to get out of the class. You are given lots of stuff to use to assist you in the process of relaxing in Restorative Yoga: blankets, a pillow, and a block.
RESTORATIVE YOGA is a way to Let Go, Find Peace, Rejuvenate, & Create.
The room was set up in a relaxing format with candles lining the walls. The music was calming and the teacher was intentional with his wording and tone. There are only a few poses but the poses were held for a much longer time than any other yoga style I have practiced. I could not believe how quickly I was able to relax and give into my breathing. My mind was no longer focused on my thoughts, ideas and issues but giving in to the constant of my heartbeat and my breathe. It is one of those things that words can do explain the feeling and reward in its entirety.
Look up your local Yoga Studios and find out which ones offer restorative yoga classes and sign yourself up! If you live in Fort Myers, FL then visit Nick at The Siva Yoga Shala. His story is inspiring and his words are motivating.