Creating Balance within your Fitness Routine

Written by Brianne Hovey 
RYT 200 
Additional certifications in Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Yoga Nidra

Do you ever feel like you need a re-set? I am feeling that way now as I type this. I could use a) a nap, b) a massage, c) a break from my ongoing to-do list and habitual thoughts. It’s times like these that I often think of the wisdom shared by one of my favorite travel writers, Pico Iyer. He says, “I turn to eccentric and often extreme measures to try to keep my sanity and ensure I have time to do nothing at all, which is the only time when I can see what I should be doing the rest of the time.” Sometimes I need someone else to offer me the space to step into where I can be free from doing and just be. As it turns out, I also LOVE being the person to offer this space for others.

What if I told you that you can come to Greenwood when you need a re-set? Our yoga program offers several weekly opportunities to nourish you on your rest day and in addition, we offer regular special workshops that offer deep restoration as well.

woman doing yoga outside

You do not need to have any prior experience of yoga to participate and you don’t even need any special gear. I will warn you, however, that once you start…you may just discover that yoga is your jam after all. That’s what happened to me. The benefits to the rest of my life are too good to pass up.

Without going down too many tangents, I will tell you that I came to yoga through the Power Vinyasa classes at Greenwood after many, many years of believing that yoga was not for me. I wasn’t flexible and the classes I had previously attended felt like they were designed exclusively for yogis who were already “great”. My yoga practice began as an effort to incorporate stretching into my routine as I was training for a triathlon and I found Greenwood’s yoga program the perfect, inclusive place to practice. After many months of practicing twice per week, I realized that I was receiving additional benefits from my practice: I was stronger, my lung capacity had grown and my grief from losing my father to cancer was shifting in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I had to learn more about what was happening in this practice. Unrelated, I took a trip to Nicaragua to learn how to surf at Holly Beck’s surf and yoga camp. I was {embarrassingly} audibly disappointed to learn that the yoga offered was yin yoga rather than the powerful, active vinyasa practice I had grown to love. I expended copious energy learning how to surf. And after that…. I found my way to the yin yoga class and felt only what I can describe as a visceral “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh” throughout my body and mind. This meditative practice of postures held for time to help the connective tissues restore, was the absolute perfect way to support my body and mind as I recovered from my yang efforts of learning to surf. I had a new hook and a new practice to support my health and my sense of life balance. My love for yin yoga was quickly followed by restorative yoga and yoga Nidra. Each of these practices offer incredible balance for active lifestyles.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect by incorporating a Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and/or Yoga Nidra practice into your routine:

  • Deep sense of restoration
  • Balance for your nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Improved energy and circulation
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased awareness of body, mind and emotions
  • Enhanced physical flexibility and mobility (Yin & Restorative)
  • Enhanced personal acceptance and flexibility (all practices)
  • A calm mind, leading to an increased sense of focus and mindfulness

lotus floating in pond

I invite you to come to a class and experience the benefits for yourself. Below are our regular class offerings and all classes are appropriate for beginners:

  • Restorative Yoga, Sundays at 11am with Alana: Restorative yoga is a receptive, calming practice intended to align your physical and mental being with breathwork and a series of gentle poses held for 5 minutes or longer, completely supported by props. The focus in this practice is in letting go of tension and entering a deep state of relaxation. Leave feeling relaxed and energized.
  • Yin & Meditation, Tuesdays at 7pm with Malissa and Saturdays at 11am with Laurel: Yin yoga is a practice intended to target the deep connective tissues (ligaments, joints, bones, and fascia). The postures are held for time (90 seconds up to 7 minutes) and supported by props. In this time, students are encouraged to find an edge to their sensation, hold the pose for time, then release the pose mindfully. Additional healing benefits of meditation are incorporated to quiet the mind. Regular practice will yield increased circulation, improved flexibility, and renewed flow of energy throughout body and mind.
  • Yin & Yoga Nidra, Fridays at 4:30pm with Brianne: This 75 minute practice combines 30-45 minutes of yin yoga (see above description) with 30-45 minutes of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is an ancient meditation technique, practiced lying down in savasana. Beginners can expect to experience conscious relaxation on physical, mental and emotional levels through entering a state of non-doing. This state of relaxation provides an opportunity for energy, normally burned by the mind, to become available to heal and restore the body. With more practice, students also experience an exploration of the layers of consciousness and of their true nature.

The common thread of these practices is intentional stillness and rest. Treat yourself to a class and find out for yourself how you can personally benefit from the practices offered.

Look for additional workshop offerings announced via the member email and/or flyers outside of the Jade studio. We host sound healing gong baths regularly and our annual Yoga Immersion weekend is coming up October 24-27, which will include many workshop opportunities to take a deeper dive into your yoga practice.

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating that going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” – Pico Iyer

Attend Brianne’s Classes:
Sunday 4pm Candlelight Vinyasa
Friday 4:30pm Yin & Yoga Nidra  (75 min)