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Updated: Jan 8

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Part of the yoga and meditation tradition is about taking time to stop. Everyone needs to stop on a regular basis. When you stop, space is created and in that space you can honestly see what is going on in your heart, your mind, your body and your spirit. Many of us are so hard on ourselves, or are so busy managing work and family and friends, or are so caught up in world events and concerned about the future, or are just tired and need some deep rest.

When we take time to stop, our whole system (body, mind, spirit) can rest, recover and in the clarity of the quiet perhaps choose to do some things that are helpful or beneficial for our daily lives. We can honestly see what is going on and then make choices. There are many ways to practice stopping and restorative yoga is one of them. I personally love this practice because it is a passive style of yoga that uses props such as blankets, bolsters, pillows, straps and blocks. The poses are all done lying on your back or side and there may be one or two seated poses. Props provide all kinds of modifications for people who have any movement restrictions or injuries. The instructor helps each person get settled into the pose and then each pose is held for five to 10 minutes which gives the person time to rest deeply, breathe and practice being present with all that shows up.

Restorative yoga is “active relaxation” and is suitable for all levels of ability. It is ideal for people who want to slow down, are working with injuries or are feeling the need for deep rest. It is also a great complement to a more active practice. I always feel quiet, relaxed and settled when I leave a restorative class. As our amazing county continues to grow and new people arrive, I am happy to welcome another yoga instructor.

Donna Raetsen is a qualified yoga instructor and has found restorative and gentle yoga to what she loves to teach. Donna leads from the heart. She is “authentic and free, her soulful spirit is guided by caring and gratitude.” She’s deeply devoted to nurturing wellness from within, offering a tranquil practice that soothes body, mind and spirit. She is honoured to have completed the highly regarded Ahimsa Yogayama training and internship with the remarkable JP Tamblyn, and specialized restorative program with the inspiring David Good. Off her mat, Donna is a certified forest and nature therapy guide, energy medicine enthusiast – and proud mom of two happy adults.

Donna is offering a restorative yoga series at Blue Sky Yoga Studio on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. March 4, 11, 18 and 25. Ten people will be accepted and the small group ensures lots of personal attention. The cost is $60. To register or if you have any questions you can contact Donna at Welcome to the county, Donna!

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