I began practicing yoga in 1996. Yoga beckoned me with it's reputation for encouraging inner peace and blissfulness. In the beginning, though (and I suspect this is true for many yogis), my practice was focused on the physical aspects of yoga or asana practice. I dove into a vigorous Ashtanga practice, very muscle-y. I loved the regularity of the sequence. I loved how strong I felt, the meditative groove we entered during our Surya Namaskar (sun salutations). As much as I enjoyed the hot, sweaty, fast, heart-pumping pace of Ashtanga and as much as I appreciate and honor its tradition, I knew that this was not the yoga life for me. Slowly, I gravitated towards a vinyasa flow style, finally settling into a quite traditional hatha practice in the Shambhava school of yoga.
It was while I studied to become a teacher of Shambhava yoga that I discovered restorative poses. Restorative poses do just that: restore your depleted resources of prana, or life force. The restorative pose is one that may take a little work and creativity (plus props) to get into, but once you are in, you are transported to a place where the earth cradles your body in the perfect embrace.
I love restorative poses. They remind me that it's okay to be good to myself, to cultivate energy before the next handstand or bout of crazy, frenetic energy. They remind me to be peace, be love and be true.