Restorative Yoga is a gentle way to rejuvenate yourself less actively. It’s an invitation to slow down, release stress, and relax. And it’s so gentle anyone can do it.
Ranch Fitness Instructor David Wicker recently led the class, which fully lived up to its name with an emphasis on restorative. “Here at The Ranch,” he tells me, “after people have been hiking and doing a lot of active classes, the afternoon is the perfect time to downshift and transition into a more leisurely and relaxing evening.”
It starts with Viparita Karani, legs up the wall. It is precisely what it sounds like. Laying on my yoga mat with a blanket under my head, David instructed us to let our tailbones rest flat on our mats with the back of our legs resting against the wall. It felt good on my feet, and the slight leg stretch felt terrific.
“You just breathe, relax,” David says, “and enjoy. The more you enjoy, the more you’ll be able to relax. It’s a very passive experience, but still profound, still powerful.” I could feel my back loosening up, and my breathing felt deep and satisfying as I exhaled away whatever was on my mind. “If you’ve studied yoga or meditation, a straighter spine is like a better energy rod for the body and mind.”
We ended the class by rolling the blankets up next to us for support and opening our hips for a stretch. “I find that having the blankets nice and tight is very supportive. It’s like you’re a little baby. You know how they tuck babies nicely and tight, so they feel supported and cared for. I’m helping guests have that experience. And it has a very primal sense of security, comfort and safety.”
And with that fantastic experience wrapping up my fitness day, I was ready for a little floaty time in the pool before a shower and dinner. I left with a similar feeling to the Happy Hands and Feet massage at the spa. It’s amazing how relieving the weight and stress in my legs and feet can affect my shoulders and help my whole body feel more relaxed yet energized. It was an excellent class for the end of the day and is perfect for helping wrap up a week at The Ranch.
In addition to teaching Restorative Yoga, David teaches Meditation, Stretch, Healthy Backs and Shoulders. He is the founder of White Tiger Wellness.