Sometimes I joke that my tag line, as a teacher of a restorative yoga, should be: “I put you to sleep.”
The relaxation cultivated by restorative yoga is physiologically different than sleep. Yet many people have dozed — and most likely will doze, and doze again — in my restorative classes, often with snoring and maybe a bit of dreaming.
I have mixed feelings about this napping practice, although I have had some delicious sleeps while bolstered myself. The most notably (and surprisingly) in a supported backbend, and yes, on the backbender.
On the one hand, it’s simply more proof that most of us are running around exhausted. What’s that expression: Running on empty? As soon as we relax even a little bit the sleep deficit claims its due.
At the same time, I’m grateful that restorative yoga offers such a refuge. Students feel safe and relaxed enough to fall asleep. It’s time that is set aside from the push and pull of the everyday. A time to be with oneself, and to rest.