Anthea Browne has visions of a Sooke yoga studio featuring this breathtaking vista high in the hilltops of Saseenos.

Anthea Browne has visions of a Sooke yoga studio featuring this breathtaking vista high in the hilltops of Saseenos.

Recovery through rest and relaxation

There is healing is rest through restorative yoga, a passive approach to better health.

There is healing in rest and relaxation according to Anthea Browne, a local Restorative Yoga instructor. Restorative yoga is a gentler, more passive yoga, ideal for people with limited mobility or recovering from injury.

This passive approach to healthy living focuses on relaxing the body in restful positions. Rest, which is different than sleep, provides the body an opportunity to renew and heal.

Browne was trained as a ballet teacher at Ryerson College in Toronto and practiced as a yoga instructor in Courtney, where she had her own yoga studio.

She has turned her attention to restorative yoga because of Osteoarthritis (OA) in her hips for seven years now. OA is a degenerative arthritis that impacts the joints, like knees and hips, resulting in pain and stiffness.

Restorative yoga can accommodate all levels of fitness, and all body types. “One woman came into the workshop with two canes,” Browne recounts. A program can be as few as six poses, each held for five to 10 minutes.

Yes, it is hard to hold a stand-up yoga pose for five to 10 minutes. But with restorative yoga, the poses are on the ground and the student is supported with bolsters, foam blocks and a strap.

One of her clients worked as a machinist for 20 years, and engaged in mountain cycling on the side. He just assumed pain was a part of life. He is now, for the most part, pain free.

“Pain does not have to be a part of growing old or of an active lifestyle,” says Browne. She herself is getting ready for the next phase in her life, which she describes as “Getting used to getting old.”

Aging is an inevitable process, and as Browne travels that path in life, she is determined to help others go through it by “sharing the transformative affects of yoga with people who can be changed by it.”

Her approach to yoga is uplifting and playful. On her website (peaceinpresence.com), she gives a succulent description of her restorative yoga workshops recently offered at Sooke’s Ahimsa Yoga and Fitness studio: “If Hatha Yoga was a healthy, delicious dinner, restorative would be the chocolate mousse at the end that soothes your senses.”

Browne teaches using a unique home-practice approach that allows her students to practice at their own pace, at their own place, and on their own schedule.

She first discusses the unique health challenges a new student wishes to address. Based on this input, she tailors a custom restorative yoga program consisting of a series of poses designed to begin gently and progressively go deep. Browne then does a home visit, helping the new student achieve the poses. She takes pictures of the student in each pose so they can easily re-achieve it on their own.

After the home visit, the student will have a personalized program enabling them to begin their own home practice.

And if you fall off the yogic wagon, Browne helps you get back on track. She is interested in “helping students find solutions instead of feeling guilty.”

So what does a client need to bring to the table (or in this case, the floor)? The tools-of-the-trade are pretty basic. A cylindrical bolster, a strap, and two foam blocks. A place where you can stretch out. Some time, scheduled at your convenience. And most importantly, the desire to improve your health.

Every year, January comes and goes. January gym memberships spike; by March, they plummet. Goals were too big, progress too slow. Enthusiasm surrenders to defeat.

That makes February a critical month if you have committed to making this year your year of change.

If you are thinking that pain is just a part of life, a part of growing older, and that vitamin I (Ibuprofen) is a part of your daily vitamin regime, think again. It doesn’t need to be, Browne assures. Rest your way to better health through restorative yoga.

Sooke has options. Ahimsa offers restorative yoga classes, and Anthea Browne can help you develop a home study program.

Just Posted

UVic Department of Anthropology chair and professor, April Nowell, at home with a copy of her new book, Growing Up In the Ice Age. (Courtesy of April Nowell)
New book by University of Victoria professor explores lives of Ice Age children

April Nowell spent two decades researching archaeological evidence of children, teens

Sasha Perron of Langford is preparing to run a half marathon on Saturday, 10 kilometres Sunday, 21.5 km on Tuesday and so on until he’s totalled 216 kilometres. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Indigenous man to run 215 kilometres, plus one for children waiting to be found

Donations to Sasha Perron’s fundraiser to benefit Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Victoria police are searching for high-risk missing woman Chloe Morrison who was last seen in Victoria June 13. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Chloe Morrison, last seen in Victoria

Morrison, 25, was last seen shortly after 2 p.m. June 13

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)
Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway’s branding

The Budway store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled sandwich smoking a joint

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read