Cover Girl or Restorative Yoga?

Feb 8, 2016 | Restorative | 0 comments



Yoga cover girls

A couple of years ago, I enjoyed viewing a calendar that had been put together by a group at a yoga retreat in New Zealand. It was designed to spoof the cover girl approach to yoga magazines and calendars. 

I think you know what I mean? By ‘cover girl’ approach, I mean presenting images like this:

Padmasana in pincha mayurasana

Padmasana in Pincha Mayurasana

 Or even like this:

Cover girl yoga - cover girl or restorative yoga?

           Vatayasana   AYL Cover

And, this one too:

Cover girl yoga - cover girl or restorative yoga?

                 Tiddibasana from Marie Claire Magazine

I found the retreaters’ calendar hilarious. It mainly included pics of yoga students doing lots of versions of savasana, the yoga relaxation pose. 

Admittedly, some of these poses were being done on couches and overstuffed chairs. And there were opened chocolate wrappers in plain view. But the models did look completely chilled. 

I’ve noticed that most students are inspired by the ability to perform advanced postures. In the past, I’ve tended to push into advanced poses whether or not my body was ready to accept them or not. What’s true is that yoga is often considered synonymous with body contortions. This is a view that is re-inforced by book, magazine and calendar images. 

Therapeutic and restorative yoga

I find it interesting that, as our population becomes weighted towards older individuals, there is an increased need for yoga for special needs. These might include practices for menopause, medical conditions, and rehabilitation from surgery and injuries, for instance. 

Coexisting with classes in the hot-and-sweaty, advanced styles of yoga, there are now more and more remedial yoga classes. More teachers are becoming qualified to teach therapeutically and specialise in specific medical conditions. I’ve learned over time that a daily dose of restorative poses and relaxation practices is needed and wanted by most of us and is good therapy. 

Judith Lasater, author of the bible of relaxation poses, Relax and Renew, extols supine poses where the body is draped over blankets and bolsters…. Come to think of it, these poses look remarkably like the New Zealand calendar models I’d viewed.

*Please feel free to collect the bed-asana image (above) for your screen saver.


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