Some people are natural relaxers. Others have to learn (or relearn).
At the risk of sounding preachy, nope, a Netflix binge on the couch is not relaxation. It might be soothing and distracting, both of which are useful strategies that have their place in our lives. But deep relaxation requires a presence that can’t be found while glued to a screen.
Without a numbing influence like TV, many of us struggle to actually just relax. When distractions are taken away, we might need something a little different to help us get there. That “something else” is really important, and we need it to be a support into which we can lean, give over, or surrender and be held by. For natural relaxers, perhaps the floor and internal sense of comfort is often enough. But for folks who struggle to find ease, a little more support can go a long way. This support might come in the form of objects, a particular circumstance, or the presence of a trusted guide or friend.
In restorative Yoga and other gentle practices offered at The Branches, we aim to provide all three of those factors in the form of:
- COZY SUPPORT: props, bolsters, cushions and blankets
- INTENTIONAL SPACE: a practice environment created with care – we consider the timing of the practice, the length and pace of the sequence, any music playing, the lighting, and how you are guided into and out of practice
- CARING GUIDANCE: experienced and trusted teachers who hold space, and offer guidance, encouragement, and a warm presence, as you explore what it’s like to slow down and rest
Below, you’ll find information on a few opportunities to practice true relaxation. Carving out the time and space to unwind, decompress and soften is a big move if you’re used to going on warp speed all the time. It might be hard, but it’s worthwhile. We’re looking forward to supporting you in getting there.
Candlelit Restorative Yoga
Saturday March 12, 7:30-9pm
Join virtually or in-person.
We planned this one specifically for the evening when Daylight Savings steals an hour of sleep…so gear up to lay down, guided by Leslie.
A completely new virtual offering…
15 Days of Presence
15 Days of Presence is an approachable entry point to learn to savour the gifts of presence. This series provides daily guidance that will gently immerse you in the still waters of meditation through a combination of approachable movement, restorative yoga, and simple breath-focused meditation techniques.
Perfect for total beginners or those hoping to reacquaint themselves with a meditation practice, 15 Days of Presence takes place from April 1 to 15. The series gradually builds towards more time spent in stillness, with a new 15-minute practice video each day.
When you join 15 Days of Presence, you’ll get access to the program for one month, so you’ll have another 15 days to repeat the videos and further establish yourself in a consistent routine of practice. The series also includes The Gifts of Presence Workshop and features classes with Danette Adams, Leslie Stokman, Emma Dines, and Leena Miller Cressman.
Gifts of Presence Workshop with Leslie Stokman: Sunday April 24, 7:30-8:30pm. Included when you join 15 Days of Presence, this workshop will start with a 30-minute guided restorative yoga and meditation practice, followed by Q&A, and discussion about next steps on cultivating a meditation practice.
Two Ways to sign up:
Buy the series on it’s own: $60+hst
Or, get your first 7-days free and then access for only $40/month when you join Branches On-Demand!