I teach power yoga, yoga for athletes, intermediate yoga, PiYo, all active, rigorous forms of yoga. Didn't see restorative yoga in there? No? And from my first class last week, you won't see it anytime soon either. OK, that may have been a bit harsh. I looked up the word restorative in the dictionary and it states "to bring back to health, strength, etc...". I walked out of this class thinking "that was it?". After holding 4 poses for an hour, I wondered why anybody would spend good money on this versus a meditation class. My legs fell asleep (according to the instructor that's normal), I was uncomfortable and therefore could not relax into the pose, and it was cold in there. I looked forward to savasana (corpse pose), a rare moment in the middle of my day where I could sneak some meditation time. But, alas, that was the ONE pose that was only 5 minutes long!
The spiritual side of me gently points out that maybe I need restorative yoga, as I disliked it so much. That my restlesness is exactly what restorative yoga will eventually dissolve. I wittingly respond that I meditate for long periods of time without a problem, so that's not it. By now, I realize I am arguing with myself and quickly end the discussion.
There is a solid foundation to needing exactly what we dislike. To live in harmony and balance is to live by the rule of Yin Yang. To be well-rounded, we need to nurture both sides. The Yang side, fast, revealing and expanding, needs its opposite. The slow pace of restorative yoga, its emphasis on concealment and contraction (going within) by the nature of its poses is the perfect antidote. So, just as a bitter pill may heal us, maybe I will give restorative yoga another try...someday.