Restorative Yoga Teacher Training in Brisbane and Online

Our next Restorative Yoga Teacher Training will be held on 21st & 22nd July at our Upper Brookfield Retreat, Brisbane with the brilliant Marian Cavanagh.
Take advantage of the early bird pricing of just $400 for the entire weekend of snug, supported, warm winter wonderful-ness (with plenty of wisdom and learning on the side, of course!). Below is an example of some of the content you will be learning during this incredible two day course - bring your body and mind to Upper Brookfield this July to experience the goodness in person!


Click on the intake below for more details, and booking links.

25hr Restorative Yoga Teacher Training UPPER BROOKFIELD, BRISBANE July 2018 | FIND OUT MORE


Restorative yoga is the practice of relaxation. Sounds simple, right? 

But how often do you truly relax? Really, truly, all-your-worries-fly-away RELAX?
Most people think they relax when they sit down and watch tv, go for a walk or read a book. But as far as the accepted clinical definition of relaxation goes, these activities are far from relaxing.
Each is a stimulant. They require the brain to respond to stimuli and keep the sympathetic nervous system running, both so that the brain can filter the stimuli, and so any dangers that might arise can be responded to accordingly.
The clinically accepted definition of relaxation is termed “The Relaxation Response”. It is generally characterised by a reduction in blood pressure, respiratory rate, body temperature and resting heart rate, and relaxed muscles. Overall oxygen consumption is reduced, while there is an increase of oxygen to the brain.
Parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system is effectively what occurs when relaxation is apparent in the body. This enables the body to counter cortisol levels and effectively release stress from the cells.
A recent study compared "The Relaxation Response" to another similar de-stressing program, the "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction". While both of these styles of de-stressing are based on meditation practices that we use in yoga, the findings highlighted the differing areas of the brain that are influenced when employing each method. It was found that "The Relaxation Response" strengthened neural pathways related to deliberate control, whereas the mindfulness program was linked more to sensory awareness mechanisms in the brain.

So how do we achieve this state? 

There are many breathing and meditation techniques that have been studied and are shown to induce relaxation. Many have shared characteristics - such as, studies have show that it is known to be easier to relax when one is warm, comfortable, and feeling safe in a dark, quiet space with little to no stimulation of the senses. In a sense, simulating the state we were in when we began our life journey in our mother's womb. A generous amount of time to enter the desired state of relaxation is also required - trying to 'feel relaxed' cannot be rushed, as that negates the whole purpose of the exercise!
True relaxation requires a list of ingredients to make the cocktail just right, and restorative yoga brings these together perfectly.
In restorative yoga asana, the body is completely supported and comfortable. The nervous system responds with less stress when the body is symmetrical, so it is critical that time is given to ensure the body is evenly supported. There should be minimal stretch sensation, or any effort felt at all, when the body is in a restorative yoga pose. This reduces neuromuscular activity, including pain messages, warning signals and proprioception, which aids the nervous system in entering parasympathetic dominance.
Restorative yoga gives the body time to enter the state of parasympathetic dominance. Many postures are held (with no effort) for around 20mins, giving the body and mind enough time and space to relax.
Blankets keep the body warm during restorative yoga, and eliminating the use of music and scents (like essential oils and incense) will ensure more students will relax. Eye pillows help block out light and the sense of sight, aiding the transition to pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). The gentle pressure on the eyes from the eye pillows also stimulates the ocular vagal reflex, activating the vagus nerve and hence aiding parasympathetic dominance.
Dominance of the parasympathetic nervous system is where all the deliciousness of restorative yoga happens.

Studies show that restorative yoga can help weight loss, cardiovascular disease, stress levels, improve sleep, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and more.

Who wouldn’t love a sip of that...?

  1. Caffrey, M. 2013. Health benefits of restorative yoga include trimming fat, NIH-funded study finds. AJMC.
  2. Forbes, B., Akturk, C., Cummer-Nacco, C., Gaither, P., Gotz, J., Harper, A., Hartsell, K. 2008. Yoga Therapy in Practice: Using Integrative Yoga Therapeutics in the Treatment of Comorbid Anxiety and Depression. International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
  3. Mustian, K.M., Sprod, L.K., Janelsins, M., Peppone, L.J., Palesh, O.G., Chandwani, K., Reddy, P.S., Melnik, M.K., Heckler, C. & Morrow, G.R. 2013. Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Trial of Yoga for Sleep Quality Among Cancer Survivors. PMC.
  4. Siber, K. 2014. Why you need a restorative yoga practice this winter. Yoga Journal.
  5. Massachusetts General Hospital. 2018. Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response have different effects on brain function. Medical Xpress.