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How Restorative Yoga Changed My Life

The universe was saying something to me this week, as I was invited to attend to three gentle or restorative yoga classes in three days. This was also a week where I’ve been especially challenged at my “real job” (not AYS, although how lovely would that be! :), I’ve been going to yoga classes at new studios every night, and I got into a car accident–caused by me rear-ending someone.

It has been a really, really hectic week.

Wednesday was the day I got into the accident. There’s no use recounting how the details unfolded, just that I was in a rush to get everything done that I could in the car–call this person, set up that reservation, make it home in time to see my wonderful boyfriend and puppy before I have to leave for a class–and I was just in a huge rush. I felt like I needed to save the world by the end of the day, and this necessity for control reared it’s ugly head when I felt that awful scraping vibration of two cars collide.

I half considered canceling the class I was to attend at Vista Yoga, but since it was a Gentle/Restorative practice, I thought I’d go Zen out for an hour and a half and feel better about things.

This is where the universe just started smiling on me.

We used props to work out the kinks in my too-tight shoulders, we did poses that stretched and opened me in ways that were more spiritual than physical, and, at with Marti’s every gentle but powerful adjustments, I surrendered so fully into relaxation. I can’t put my finger on why I was so inspired by this particular class. I’ve taken restorative classes before, but something about Marti’s intuitive knowledge on exactly where this strap should wrap, and when to move the bolster just a couple inches higher made me feel like I was being molded into a pose that only got better and easier through relaxing more.

This relaxation also taught me a lot. It showed me that I have been SO tense and SO contontrolling in my life recently. I’ve been pushing, pushing, pushing and going, going, going. I’ve been letting the experience get the most of me, instead of me getting the most out of the experience.

So, when a simple tennis ball between the shoulders showed me how much stress I held there, and an assisted hip stretch turned into an emotional release, I was just stunned, inspired, and aware.

Gradually, I started recognizing that I need to slow down and let go of trying to control all aspects of my being. I need to let the props hold me up. I need to take cues from a gentle hand. I need to surrender into the moment. I need to take time and absorb the gifts of this practice, without feeling like I need to keep DOING.

The timing of this class couldn’t have been better, and I feel grateful to have done this practice when I did. I hope, if you’re feeling any of the things I felt this week, that maybe you’ll take some time to enjoy a restorative class, too.

Do you have an experience where a yoga class left a profound influence on you?

3 Responses to “How Restorative Yoga Changed My Life”

  1. […] attended lots of yoga studios, experiencing everything from standard vinyasa flow, to Purna yoga, restorative yoga, Anusara, metal yoga, power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and everything in […]

  2. Allen says:


    Thanks for coming to my class last night. It was a pleasure to share with you my first Yoga Groove session. You do a beautiful Nataraja Asana!

  3. Marti Yura says:

    Thank you Leah!
    The pleasure was mine!
    I hope the rest of your week is going smoothly!
    Namaste 🙂

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