Friday, April 20, 2012

Passport to Prana: Body to Bliss Yoga

Last Sunday afternoon, I dusted of my Passport to Prana for a much needed yoga class.

My body has been feeling quite tight lately, so I wanted to do something gentle that involved a lot of stretching.  I decide on a 90 minute Meditation/Yin/Restorative class at Body to Bliss Yoga in Vaughan

Body to Bliss Yoga offers a variety of classes from prenatal yoga to pilates.  The location is easy to get to with plenty of parking.

It is a beautiful little studio, very minimalistic with soft lighting and yoga-inspired art throughout.  After I filled out the the necessary paperwork, I headed into the workout space.

Tony, the instructor, told us to grab everything we would need for class including a bolster, a yoga strap, a block, pillows and a blanket.  I have never used so many props in a yoga class and was excited to see what we were going to do with them.

Tony introduced himself and talked for about 5-10 minutes about the practice.  We were going to start with 10 minutes of seated meditation.  He offered some tips on how to meditate and keep the mind focused.  He also mentioned that mediating while seated creates better body awareness than when you are lying down.

Next, we practiced yin yoga.  Tony described the principles of yin yoga and reminded us to breathe and listen to our bodies.  This style of yoga focuses on deep stretching of the joints and connective tissue.  Stretches are held anywhere from 3-10 minutes (we held them for about 6).

In total, we did about 5 poses. It is really very challenging to hold a stretch for that long, but you can really feel the difference in your body when you come out of it.

Lastly, we did some restorative poses, which included the legs up on wall pose (one of my favourites) and finished with some guided relaxation.

Here are my thoughts:

What I Liked 
  • Tony.  He really knows his stuff.  I also appreciated how he took the time to describe the practice.  Not enough instructors educate the class (in my humble opinion).
  • The pace of the class.  Long and slow stretching and extended meditation.  I found this really challenging to do and it is exactly what my body needed.
  • The use of props.  I felt that they really assisted with the postures and helped with relaxation. 
  • The music was very gentle and soothing.

What I Would Have Liked
  • More poses included in the class.  While I appreciated the education about the practice, I felt at times it could have been more brief as to include more stretches.
  • Better follow up. (This is a running theme in all the studios I have visited). I had a great discussion with Tony after class, but he didn't invite me to come back or offer an information about the studio.

I really did enjoy this class and am looking forward to including more restorative-style classes into my practice.

Have you ever done yin or restorative yoga?  What did you think of it?

Have a great weekend!

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