Heard of restorative yoga, and want to know what it’s all about? Restoring is what the body does when we let ourselves rest. Basically, it’s healing — cell regeneration and that sort of thing.
It’s a bit like the background functions that your computer slips into when you stop typing and surfing.
My yoga instructor and writer friend Laura, who teaches in Frenchtown, Holland Township and other Hunterdon yoga locations, is hosting an “I’m Doing Jack Sh!t in January” Restorative Yoga Challenge.
The idea of “doing jack” in January is to get 20 minutes of a restorative yoga pose and some meditation in each day, to see what it does for your stress levels, focus, and sleep.
Laura kicked off her restorative yoga challenge with a pose titled exactly what it looks like. Legs on a Chair.
This is a great way to ease into the lighter side of yoga. Follow along with the challenge at Grounded Earth Yoga, here.
If you’re inspired to join and are now wondering what yoga props will be needed to get your restorative yoga going, Laura has a list for you.
IDJSIJ Challenge Day 6 – A Fluffy Post [About Yoga Accessories to Begin Your Practice]
from Laura at Grounded Earth Yoga
It’s the weekend and I’m not going to have a lot of energetic opportunity for deep thinking and lengthy prose. Instead let’s talk about gearing up for doing jack sh!t.
First of all, you don’t need to. If you are the subtype of procrastinator who likes to buy a bunch of stuff before you do a new thing, and think shopping counts as doing the new thing, you will surely be disappointed. Most of the what you need is already lurking around your house.
Blankets are the most important prop in a restorative yoga practice. You likely have a collection of blankets and couch throws that you don’t recall buying and that seem to reproduce of their own accord. It’s their time to shine!
Blankets rolled and folded in various fashions can replace a mat, bolster, and blocks. The most useful blankets are a heavier weave that holds shape to be supportive, which is why you’ll see “yoga blankets” made of dense cotton or wool. Soft fuzzy fleece is the least helpful for propping, although it’s a good type for snuggling under.
However, as a yoga teacher, I do have props around and do prefer them. I’ll show you mine, and you can decide for yourself if you need to head out for some supplies.
Laura recommends: Falsa Style Yoga Blanket
Bolster – These are great for seated meditation, active movement practices, and doing jack sh!t. It does the work of a few rolled up blankets, and stays firm enough to use as a ramp, which we’ll be doing later in the month. I love one under my knees for Savasana.
Recommended by Laura: The Guiam Yoga Bolster
Blocks – Again, these are not necessary for a restorative practice but they’re pretty cheap and you can find them in most department store exercise sections. I feel they are pretty necessary for a home yoga exercise practice, especially as a beginner. You can sub them out for thick heavy books or even cans of tomatoes (28 ounce, Tuttorosso, whole peeled plum with basil, ONLY!).
Yoga Blocks and Strap available on Amazon here.
Yoga blankets – These are cotton and a heavier weave, like I talked about above. Easily found on amazon, but not really a department store item.
Lavender eye bag – This is my favorite indulgence. In a restorative practice we’re trying to limit sensory input, and resting the eyes is really important. A scarf or sweater with do the job just as well if that’s what you’ve got.
Strap – Used more in a stretching or strengthening yoga practice, it’s sometimes used in a restorative practice. I’ll show how you can do that in later posts. Obviously, a regular old belt will work too.
Pick up your own yoga props using the Amazon links listed above, if you like. But you could also just stick to using what you have around the house. Happy propping!
Follow along with the “I’m Doing Jack Sh!t in January Restorative Yoga Challenge” from Laura of Grounded Earth Yoga, here.