Mary Powers has been a restorative yoga teachers since 2007. Certified in several modalities including Ashtanga 200, Kripalu 500, IRest ( Nidra), and Restorative Yoga, Mary’s depth of experience is appreciated by all of her students. See Mary’s full profile here.
1. Restorative yoga is a beautiful style of yoga, both powerful and gentle. How did you initially come to learn about this type of yoga?
I was looking for a system of deep opening/relaxation and found it at Kripalu with teachers Richard Miller followed by Judith Lasater. The trainings I eventually participated in with these wonderful teachers were profoundly healing and joyful for me. And I’ve been teaching and/or practicing a blend of these two methods ever since.
2. What key intentions do you share with your restorative yoga students?
The idea of effortless is important to me. I hope to communicate the ease of the practice and the availability of full ultimate wisdom of the body coupled with the heart center – as we cool and rest the brain.
3. Please share any personal transformations and insights that you’ve gained through your practice of restorative yoga.
Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra have brought me into an authentic experience of Self that I could not have figured out with my thinking mind. That’s really all I can say about it.
4. In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of restorative yoga?
Coming home to yourself by slowing down and coming into your body, with deep awareness and compassion for yourself and ultimately for others.
5. If you could name one pose that has truly supported you in a way that allowed you to open, release, and restore your body and mind unlike any other pose what was that pose and why was it so empowering?
Supported Reclining Pose. It uses a LOT of props, but is so worth it. Maybe I can post a photo for those not familiar with it. This pose is like being held. The body “waterfalls” gracefully flowing over bolsters and blankets – and I am able to sink into a feeling of depth and then openness, moving past the body and coming quickly into an alpha or theta brain wave state. Practice makes progress and my brain and body LOVE to chill in this pose. And, it can be easily modified to support a relaxation response for just about anyone.
6. Please share any specialties (ie. Aromatherapy, meditation, sound healing, etc) that you include in your classes and/or areas that you focus on in particular (anxiety, stress relief, chronic pain).
Most of the Restorative Classes include Meditation and some Breath Play. Each class is tailored to the participants, so sometimes those meditations are brief! I carefully choose sound scapes that are ambient, spacious, slow instrumentals to help set the relaxed vibration in the room. Sometimes I/we practice in silence and that is just as powerful or maybe more so. Anxiety, stress-relief and chronic pain are all topics that I believe can be alleviated by practicing some form of Restorative Yoga regularly.