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What is Restorative Yoga?

posted 03/11/199 comments

Dawn Bentsen leads a weekly Restorative Yoga class at The Bindu. In this guest blog, she explains what Restorative Yoga is like, and what led her to want to teach this special practice. Enjoy!

A Healing Practice

Restorative Yoga is more than relaxing and opening the body and mind — it is a healing practice dedicated to instilling more compassion towards ourselves.

What to Expect

restorative yogaWhat can you expect from attending a Restorative Yoga class led by me? We begin with breath meditation (Prana Dharana), mantra of Om, and personal dedication to your practice. Then we move through some gentle warm ups, moving on the breath and beginning to extend our exhalation. For the main body of the class, all poses are supported by the creative use of props under and around the body, allowing the practitioner to completely and totally relax into the pose. The main body of class incorporates twists, inversions (head lower than the heart) and restorative poses to stimulate the apana vayu (located in the pelvis governing elimination, downward & outward movement) and samana vayu (located in the navel center governing assimilation, discernment, inner absorption, & consolidation). We complete our class with Savasana, a mini Yoga Nidra and 31 or 61 point guided meditation, all with the intention of healing.

Intelligent Sequencing

Why do we feel so good after a Restorative Yoga class? Yes, we may have had the opportunity to drift off and perhaps catnap, but the true essence, if practiced correctly, is the vinyasa krama (intelligent sequencing) which plays with the apana and samana vayus; and pranayama (breath control), which not only calms the parasympathetic nervous system but also changes the energetic landscape of the mind.

Always at Rest

Having had the opportunity to study and become certified in Restorative Yoga by Judith Lasater, Ph.D. in 2012, I wanted to weave more of the teachings from the Sri Vidya tradition into my class to remind students of the unchanging part of themselves that is always at rest and joyful.

Join me Sunday nights 6:30-7:45 to reconnect with the part of you that is always at rest!

Om Shanti Om,



Dawn Bentsen


9 thoughts on “What is Restorative Yoga?

  1. This was a very good description of what takes place during class. For those accustomed to a more active yoga class, the number of poses might seem limited but that is because we get to spend extended time in each position. As Dawn states in her blog, the time really allows our bodies to “relax into each pose”, with the props allowing us to release and settle our body and mind and somewhat “give up the fight” or control that can keep us so tightly wound during the week. Dawn always does a great job of explaining the various terms and how each position benefits our bodies, which I really appreciate. On a personal note, as someone who was totally new to yoga, this was the first class I attended consistently and Dawn really helped me, in a gentle and reassuring way, to become familiar with my body and learn how to listen to how my body communicates. From this class I’ve gained confidence to attend other classes and move and stretch my mind and body even more.

  2. If you think you can’t do yoga you need to give restorative yoga a try. You stay in very relaxing yummy positions while your body and soul balance themselves. It is my favorite hour and 15 minutes a week. Come on out and see what this class is about.

  3. Dawn’s restorative class is amazing! Dawn’s expertise is both educational and inspiration. The Sunday evening class is a perfect way to start you week AND you’ll sleep like a baby afterwards!

  4. I’ve been taking Restorative yoga for about 2.5 months now. It is an absolutely great class. It is extremely relaxing and a wonderful way to start your busy week. For me, it’s like a spa treatment for the spine and organs. Some of the poses have helped me understand how to position the body even when home. I give myself this class as a weekly treat. Dawn is a great instructor.

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The Bindu - Lake Norman Yoga Studio


The Bindu is a community focused, heart-driven, Lake Norman yoga studio that offers a wide range of classes for all levels of experience.

Whether you're a first-timer, or a passionate yogi - at The Bindu Yoga Studio you'll find a warm, friendly and challenging way to take care of yourself in a genuine and welcoming atmosphere.

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