What do you enjoy most about teaching restorative yoga?
Rhoda Miriam: Probably what brings me the most joy is when a student experiences what I call an “ah-ha” moment. It might occur when their facial expression relaxes after a body part falls effortlessly into place; or when a prop is adjusted and they become aware of fully relaxing into what’s supporting them; or simply when their breath slows down and they release a soft yet audible sigh, and then smile.
What did learning to teach restorative yoga teach you about yourself?
RM: During my 20+ years of teaching yoga, I’ve continued to deepen my belief that “less is more,” Learning to teach restorative yoga helped remind me how much I wanted to bring that belief more into my personal life as well. For me that “less-ness” took the form of slowing down—not only in yoga but in all things. As I continue to slow down, I find myself becoming a calmer, more patient person.
What tools does Restorative Yoga give you that you didn't have before?
RM: The practice continues to fine-tune what was already in my toolbox, like my intuition, my creativity, my capacity for listening and paying attention. Mostly, I've learned how to recognize the power—and, often, the challenge—of silent stillness, whether for myself in my own practice, or as I facilitate and hold the space for someone who’s receiving its benefits.
What surprised you when you trained to teach Relax and Renew™ with Judith Lasater?
RM: When I attended my first training with Judith in 2010, I was surprised and delighted by the diverse demographics of the group—there were more than ninety of us! Differences in participants’ gender and age, as well as where they were from, and the variety of professions (not all yoga teachers!) made me realize that the desire for “relaxation education” is universal and continues to grow.
Why do you think there is growing interest in slower, less vigorous yoga practice?
RM: As our society grows busier and we hurry through our lives, we set aside less time for balancing our nervous system and restoring our energy. People are looking for ways to feel physically, psychologically and emotionally rested, even healed. While most forms of yoga practice offer some of these benefits, Restorative Yoga offers— at its foundation— the profound benefits of deep rest and stillness. And that is about as slow as it gets.
What populations of students are drawn to a restorative practice?
RM: The populations drawn to the practice are quite diverse. There are those who are healing from injury or illness; those whose stressful lives invite chronic conditions like anxiety, depression, metabolic disorders; those who come to the practice to help prevent those conditions; and those who are interested in balancing other strenuous types of activity they enjoy. I'm sure there are more.
If you'd like to learn how to teach restorative yoga, Rhoda's next teacher training begins October 7.
About Rhoda Miriam
As founder of Yoga for Slow Living™, Rhoda has been encouraging students and clients to slow down since 1993. She specializes in facilitating techniques for managing stress, chronic pain and anxiety disorders like PTSD. The practices on her CD, “Relax with Rhoda” offer ways to sustain a calm mind and a relaxed body.
Rhoda holds the Yoga Alliance 500-hour experienced teacher designation (ERYT500). She has earned advanced certifications as a professional-level Yoga teacher from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, as an iRest® Yoga Nidra teacher from Richard Miller at the Integrative Restoration Institute, and as a Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga trainer from Judith Hanson Lasater. She is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner and mentor. Additionally she has been certified by the Arthritis Foundation and trained by the National MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society.
Along with offering group classes, workshops and trainings in Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga, Rhoda conducts private sessions in therapeutic Yoga, guided Meditation, and relaxation therapy in person and by phone. Her unique series, “The Art of Mindful Slow Living,” offers guidance and mentoring to help individuals learn more about how to experience healthy, harmonious and happy lives.
To find out more, visit Rhoda’s website at www.yogaforslowliving.com.