One of them happens to be a restorative yoga workshop with the wonderful Sam Akers. It's taking place at our Echo Park studio from March 7 - March 10 (find more details here). Whether you're a certified yoga teacher or a student looking to deepen their practice through restorative asana, this training is for you!
Are you intrigued by this concept but not really clear about what restorative yoga actually is? Keep reading. Check out the photos.
Learn about this beautiful practice, how Sam came to love it, why she continues to do what she does, and what you can expect to get from the training.
Restorative Yoga allowed me to heal from 11 years of Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and Lyme Disease. I had been diagnosed with all of these ailments, in a 3 month period, in 1997. Completely debilitating and confusing. Western medicine attempted to help, but really was making me worse with all kinds of medications. I found myself at a holistic chiropractor, one day in 1998, who suggested that I try yoga. I didn’t find restorative in my first class, but instead, I went to whatever class fit my schedule, as there was not really any guidance. It was a Vinyasa class that nearly killed me. Luckily, the owner of the studio was the teacher, and she sweetly suggested Restorative Yoga. What is this, I asked? Well, she responded, you lay on the floor, completely supported and rest. I was not excited by this, in fact, it sounded ridiculous. I was already laying around all day, why would I spend MORE time doing this?
What I didn’t know, in that moment, was that Restorative Yoga was and could be, so much more than just laying on the floor. I did get myself back to the studio, about a month later. I walked into class and there was the lovely teacher, David. His voice was kind and understanding. He proceeded to guide us through 4-5 asana and he would come over and offer me extra support, for my arms and legs. It was in Reclining Butterfly, Supta Baddha Konasana, that I had my first true healing experience. It was pretty wild. I saw soft golden light, I experienced a sweet voice in my mind, letting me know all would be ok, and I cried and cried. He let me remain in that asana, while others moved on. His support was the reason that I was able to let go, begin to heal and come closer to the pain within my self. I felt completely safe.
I had no idea that I was in any emotional pain at all. I was not aware that the trauma I experienced growing up, was now living in my tissues. I had never given myself permission to slow down, in part, because I knew it could be painful. But with David there, supporting me with his kind heart, voice and his seeing my discomfort and supporting that too, I could stay. And stay I did. That afternoon, I got all the props, bolster, blocks, blankets, and began my daily practice of reclining butterfly, which I still practice to this day. I am sure, that this practice saved my life.
Not only because of my own healing experience, but now because of reports from thousands of students and clients I have supported in practice. I find that most of us push ourselves plenty. We push into experience, we push away from experience. We cling, we avert. But how often are we given permission to dive in, to sink in, to our own hearts and our own needs. How often are we supported in the arising and passing of ALL feelings and thoughts? One of the reasons that I lead trainings in Restorative Yoga is because we do not receive enough training in this modality, in our 200 hour training programs. Throw a bolster down and you are good to go, right? My experience 21 years ago was particularly healing because David fully supported my body. I felt safe, cocooned, seen. My nervous system could relax, my endocrine and immune systems could follow suit. My psoas could soften and years of held pain could release, sweetly and fully. My work with Judith Lasater and Leeann Carey just solidified my belief. They both teach in a way that encourages the complete support of the student, but we must train our eyes to see where support might be needed. This means more blankets under the joints of the body, adjustments of height of props and use of sandbags and blankets on the body. The student should be a comfortable as possibly, with little to no stretch sensation. This is why Yin and Restorative are completely different practices.
I have now been guiding students in Restorative healing for over 18 years. My restorative classes, workshops and trainings are my best attended classes and I believe it because of the level of care that I offer, along with the use of loving kindness meditations and breath work. I have had the honor and pleasure of watching hundreds of students heal themselves, through restorative practices, no pushing, just being. Please join me for another wonderful, fun and eye opening weekend of Restorative Yoga!
In this March training at One Down Dog, all students are welcome. You do not need to be a yoga teacher. In fact, I encourage anyone in the health fields to join us as it is fabulous to integrate Restorative into therapy, nursing, PT and OT, just to name a few. If you are a teacher, learn to support the body/mind/hearts of your students even more fully and successfully. You will receive 2 manuals for this training as it is level 1/2 and we will review the basics and foundational asana as well as delve into some of the more interesting and fun asana that can be used in therapeutics. We will discuss trauma, resourcing, Metta meditations, Yoga Nidra and more. I love discussions and often you, the students, inform the training greatly with what your particular interests are. You may also earn CEU’s through YA, if you need them, in taking this course.
Thank you for being a part of the Relaxation Revolution! With Metta and Restorative Yoga, we CAN heal the world. Let’s begin…..”
Samantha Akers, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, CMT, MFRT