MindBody Blog

WHY RESTORATIVE YOGA?

Restorative Yoga has been such a saving grace for my yoga practice. I never thought I’d look at a yoga bolster with the same affection as I would my yoga mat! My mat and I have such a connection, it’s that safe place that is just for me, my movement, my breath, my focus. Sweat drips, hands grip, feet hop, turn and curl. 

A restorative practice is practically the opposite of a vinyasa flow class. One begins with a few moments of mindful breathing and scanning the body up and down, simply to check in with oneself and become grounded into the practice space. The main difference between restorative postures and a flow sequence is that we hold each asana for 5-10 minutes versus 5-10 breaths! We must first get our minds and bodies prepared for relaxation before attempting to rest in a posture (mind chatter free) for minutes at a time. We live in a time where we are always in our heads, buzzing off caffeine rather than seeing the world clearly and peacefully - insert restorative yoga as your medication.

At the MKE MindBody Wellness lounge you will find small, intimate class sizes maxing out at 5 yoga mats. Our room is lit with candlelight, comforted by an oversized rug and inspiring with imagery of tropical palms and plenty of green potted plants. Aromatherapy is an amazing asset to the center as we have custom blended oils that enhance the restful experience. Light, hands on adjustments will be used from the instructor, but only at the students approval.

We maintain our restorative practice in order to rest and digest our body, tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system is our goal with these long relaxing poses. As previously mentioned, we’re living in a time of high stress, typically keeping our sympathetic nervous system active and firing the fight or flight mode regardless if we find a lion in our living room or get a dirty look from our boss. 

Your body will feel warm and supported with blankets, bolsters, folding chairs, blocks and straps along with gentle encouragement from the instructor. Allowing yourself to surrender to relaxation, aromatherapy and let go of ruminating thoughts are just a few benefits of joining us for a restorative yoga class. We hope to see you soon!

Every Sunday Evening

Meditation class, 6-6:30pm, $10, 8 people max

Restorative Yoga 7-8:15pm, $15, 5 people max

BOOK NOW

Cleaning Up for Spring Eating

Spring is here! The daffodils have bloomed, seeds are sprouting, the birds are chirping before the sun has risen. Along with nature bursting from the earth, so is the notion that in spring we need to ditch the clutter, get active, and detox our bodies.

Changing seasons are perfect opportunities for modifying food choices, organizing living spaces, and finding the space outdoors for movement. Rather than viewing the changing season as a time for detoxing, we like to honor the shifting needs of our bodies.  A complete overhaul, like a detox, is not always necessary to move with the rhythm of the changing body.  What is beneficial is the mindful approach to making small changes that encourage a greater feeling of well-being - to feel good, to sleep better, to keep our bodies and minds in harmony, free of disease and sickness, digesting well, and feeling ample energy.  We have come up with some simple changes that compliment the blossoming spring energy:

A week without coffee: Swap your coffee for dandelion root tea for a week and see how you feel. Dandelion root tea is known as a gentle diuretic that is full of vitamins and minerals. Buy organic when possible. We are using this tea to support liver and gallbladder health.  Heavy winter eating, drinking, and resting can add more stress to the liver. Taking a break from coffee and supporting liver health may improve digestion, allergies, PMS symptoms, and a tendency for frustration and impatience.  This tea has a deep, rich and nutty flavor. Double up on tea bags if the craving for coffee is severe- the bitterness will curb the craving.  Drink plenty of water during this week!

Superfood infusion: Add a dose of super green powders to your morning ritual.  Dark greens and algaes are alkalizing for the body (anti-inflammatory) and provide a feast of phytonutrients that your body uses at the cellular level.  Green powders with algae have protein too- which can help relieve sugar cravings and symptoms of frenetic blood sugars.  Try adding super green powders to smoothies or pineapple juice. We suggest Alive N Vibrant Super Green powders or Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder.  If the afternoon slump is a common issue, add a super green juice to your afternoon.

Eat more vegetables. Shop the produce section or local farmers markets that are open again and thriving. Eat salads with fresh spring greens topped with asparagus, leeks, lemon and ginger fried lightly in coconut oil. Pluck homegrown herbs from a garden, windowsill or balcony for flavor and overall wellbeing. Herbs are amazing healing tools for many ailments and they add interesting flavors to common salads. Lightly sautee veggies to aid in digestion but do not cook them until completely soft (keep a little crisp in the middle).  Substitute bread with romaine lettuce when making that turkey sandwich and go to fresh veggies with dip for snacking.  Get creative with recipes to add new interest to valuable, wholesome, nutrient-dense vegetables.

Get fresh with new beverages. Take a break from the bars and host backyard get-togethers sipping on tea, homemade kombucha, or infused spritzers. Simply cutting back on your alcohol intake can help you cultivate awareness around drinking habits, reduces sugar intake, and give the liver space to detox from a heavy winter. Try a nice organic, no sulfites added wine if eliminating alcohol is not an option.

Spring is the perfect time to make a transition from comfort habits to intentional wellbeing.  Make some small changes in big areas of life and try new things.  Letting go of pent up emotional tension, addressing unhealthy eating habits, and striving for more balance in life will relieve stress and provide more energy as we move into summer. 

Find small but beautiful moments throughout your day. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy the little things. 

Meditation ~ a beginners guide

Find your comfortable. We want to limit as many distractions as possible. Dress appropriately, wear socks, keep a blanket nearby if you get cold.

Turn your phone off or put it in a separate room on silent. If your device is also your timer or meditation app then use the 'do not disturb' silence option while practicing meditation so you don't get vibrate or light up notifications or a phone call.

In order to keep proper posture it's best if our hips are elevated above our knees. To do this sit cross-legged, in lotus or half lotus position on a cushion, pillow(s) or even folded blankets stacked on top of one another. Did you know over 80% of people meditate in a chair? If this is your preference try not to slump and keep a straight spine as you're seated on the edge of your chair. A pillow or blanket folded to support your low back would be nice, if using a chair.

Now that we are dressed properly and have found our seat we are can close our eyes, and begin to relax the muscles in our body. Pay special attention to your brow, jaw, shoulders and hips. Allow your body to soften while keeping a straight spine.

Begin to breathe a little deeper than normal in order to feel the sensation of your inhale naturally rising your chest, and with the exhale lowering your chest and belly softening slightly inwards. If it helps, place one hand on your heart center and one hand on your low belly to feel this movement. 

Simply continue to focus on your breath, heightening your body awareness. As you become distracted or your mind begins to ruminate or create lists... gently remind yourself you have gotten lost in your thoughts and return to that deepening of your inhales and exhales.

As a beginner I'd suggest a 5 minute practice every day for a week. Then adjust to 8 minutes, then to 10 minutes. Keep adjusting your time as you see the benefits begin to flow into your life.

In times of stress or when emotions rise, remember you can always come back to your breath. Why do you think we've been taught to 'just breathe' or 'take a deep breath' since we were little? Our breath is so important, so overlooked and very much taken for granted. 

Take a moment to focus on just 5 slow inhales and exhales wherever you are right now. Feel yourself calm down, even if it's just for a minute. 

Be thankful. Practice gratitude for your breath and for your body that keeps you functioning without you even trying.