Yoga: Restorative Yoga and Unique Meditation Experience

First posted in November, 2004

This evening was a first for me: a restorative yoga class. Yoga is, for me, generally restorative, but when they say "restorative yoga" they mean something more specific: focused postures held at greater length to condition not only muscle but connective tissue. I'd held poses for extended periods of time on previous occasions, but it was generally restricted to one posture which I knew would provide release in an area where I was holding far too much tension, generally worked into a more standard yoga set.

This evening was different: an hour and a half session that concentrated on six postures, with a five minute warm-up and five final minutes in savasana (corpse or relaxation pose). I feel wonderful as a result. I'll attend next Friday's restorative yoga class, the last guided session to which I'll have access prior to leaving on a three month trip, but hopefully I will have many new ideas to take with me on my coming journey.

Most interesting of all to me was the result these six lengthened poses* had upon my final relaxation. The teacher I have for this class seemingly isn't keen on guided meditation to any real degree, and pretty much leaves us to our own devices. This evening I took that opportunity to engage in a third eye meditation. In this meditation I normally, depending on my mood, will experience blue, deep green, or burgundy, sometimes slow and meandering, almost like smoke, then other times energized and bursting from a central space.

Tonight there was no color; this was a first for me. However, I could sense movement - despite the absence of any discernable shapes or colors - as if there were something unseen, just out of sight, with which I had made a connection. It felt strange and yet also somehow very familiar and comforting. Peaceful.

* Postures included, in order:
Baddha Konasana      (Bound Angle/Cobbler's Pose, reclined with a back bend)
Bharadvajasana I      (Bharadvaja's Twist, revolved forward and reclined)
Dandasana      (Staff Pose, reclined with feet against the wall, feet engaged)
Eka Pada Rajakapotanasana      (Pigeon, reclined forward)
Bhekasana      (Frog Pose, supported)
A simple supported backbend, not really close to an asana I could name