220 in 2020 · fitness · rest · yoga

Sam gives “nap yoga” a try

To start, it’s not actually called “nap yoga.” Its name is “restorative yoga.”

But still, there were pillows and blankets and there might have been some snoring. It was dark and warm and 8:30 at night.

“Restorative yoga is a practice that is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. … During the long holds of restorative yoga, however, your muscles are allowed to relax deeply. It’s a unique feeling because props, rather than your muscles, are used to support your body.” From An Introduction to Restorative Yoga.

You might think it looks like this:

But really it looks more like this:

After some hemming and hawing I posted restorative yoga in the 220 workouts in 2020 group. All the while I was wondering, does this count? Is it really a workout? Whenever I find myself asking that, I have two responses. One, I count 120 km bike rides as single workouts so it all balances out. Two, if the point of counting things is to motivate to me to do things I wouldn’t usually do then this counts. With my injured knee I’m trying to stretch and relax more. I’m going to massage therapy. And now I’m going to restorative yoga it seems. The minute I posted it, Tracy commented, “How did you like it?” She knows me well and knew it wasn’t my usual thing. There was nothing heavy to lift, no speed, and no throwing people around. Heck, except in winter when I love the warm, even regular yoga isn’t really my thing.

At the end of a rough day at work, and after several days of hard workouts, it felt right.

What did I like? I enjoyed the length of time in the postures. The room was warm but not hot. I enjoyed some of the guided meditation. I didn’t fall asleep.

I mention not falling asleep because in earlier attempts to lay still and meditate and relax (childbirth classes) I’d fall hard and fast asleep, pretty much almost instantly. That was little use in preparing for childbirth since the pain meant sleep wasn’t an option. This was really my first successful attempt at completely relaxing while awake.

I’ll definitely do it again.

5 thoughts on “Sam gives “nap yoga” a try

  1. I counted it as a workout once and I felt like I was cheating! I have felt similarly about several of the YWA “Home” sessions but have counted them anyway because they are movement I wouldn’t otherwise have done. But I like your criteria. And I’m glad you found something relaxing that makes you feel good and helps you stretch. At Modo in London we sometimes have these with live music and it’s really a lovely experience.

  2. I love restorative yoga. May not be cardio but where I do it the long deep stretches are definitely super helpful for my overall fitness, releasing tightness that limits my ability to do other activities. I think it’s a nice balance in the mix with other kinds of working out and I don’t tend to do enough of it when I’m not attending a class – your post reminds me to get back in the yoga groove more!

  3. Restorative is an essential part of a balanced workout regimen. 🙂 The long holds let your muscles relax and tension ease; I’ll often find after several minutes in a pose that I become aware of tension I’m holding, will adjust, and then suddenly my shoulder (for ex) descends two inches. THAT kind of thing. It’s a great alternative to massage therapy.

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