Contentment, Gratitude, Soreness, and Restorative Yoga


A few weeks ago, my partner and I traveled to Austin to attend a 3-day Yoga festival. We left late on Thursday afternoon as we needed to wake up in Austin to start our festival experience early Friday morning. On only a few hours of sleep, we woke up bright and early to attend our first day of the festival. After attending an acro-yoga class together, we split up to each attend classes from teachers local and national. I loved the classes that I attended but was rather surprised by the short final relaxation (Savasana) offered in each class especially since the classes were all 90 minutes long.

I teach Restorative Yoga weekly, and practice Restorative Yoga daily — so I’ve grown accustomed to 10-20+ minutes of Savasana, or a minimum of 5 minutes!
We wrapped up our first day of the festival completely high from the experience, excited for what was to come, and physically sore.
The second day started as we slept in, woke up well-rested — and super sore! Muscles in my body that I didn’t know existed were sore. It is an awesome feeling to know that unexplored areas were awakened and now alive. With soreness and all, we went back for more.
Day 2, we went to a lecture and more yoga classes — awesome classes without a doubt but short relaxation postures again. There were a few Yin yoga and meditation classes offered but they filled fast so we were not able to attend. Sadly, Restorative yoga was completely absent from the festival line-up. We left the festival late that night and went to a friend’s hot tub and sauna searching for some much needed muscle release and relaxation. Tired and content with the day we went to bed late, and woke up early to start Day 3!
Upon rising on Day 3, my soreness had settled into uncharted areas of my body. The only cure — get back on the yoga mat! I was able to stretch out and release a lot of the soreness in the first 90-minute slow flow class followed by a lecture and another 90-minute high-intensity class. Whew! After spending hours on our yoga mats my partner and I decided that we were done. We left the festival early on Day 3, content with the knowledge gained, muscle engagement found, tension released, yet craving something… deep relaxation.
So after a well-earned meal at a divey South Austin Mexican food restaurant we rolled out our yoga mats yet again!, but this time at Yoga Yoga Austin for a 75-minute Restorative class. (sigh) There was absolutely no other place that sounded better in that moment.
My body naturally surrendered into the support of the props in each Restorative posture. During the first pose, I felt a muscle in my back tense and then came a deep and much needed release. The same happened during the next pose, I felt my leg tighten, tense, shake and then a full and complete release into deep relaxation. After class, over a cup of hot yogi tea I felt a deep sense of gratitude and connection to my practice. I felt aware of where my practice was, were I was in the space that I have cultivated, my body was relaxed and my heart was full.
And what is more, I woke up on that fourth day — to what should have been a super sore body but was pleasantly surprised that I was not sore. I blame and am thankful to Restorative yoga for my complete recovery.

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