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RESTORATIVE RACE WORKSHOPS

Actualizado: 4 dic 2020


We use mindful Restorative Yoga practices to help balance, ground and support the body and mind in these workshops.



"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."- Steve Biko


"... people who are chronically stressed are not always able to identify the difference between tension and relaxation. Observing and experiencing your body and mind shedding layers of stress and tension, which you may not have even known were there, is empowering. The overall soothing effect on the nervous system during a restorative yoga practice creates calming conditions for the body to restore itself."

- Dr. Gail Parker author of Restorative Yoga for Raced Based Stress and Trauma


"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

- Audre Lourde



To do the important work of dismantling structural racism, we need to feel full and present. We have to work on dismantling the oppression that resides within us first in order to interrupt structural racism externally. In the workshops we encourage putting the oxygen mask first on ourselves, so we have a greater capacity to then show up for others. These workshops resource those seeking to move beyond external action and embed their anti-racism work in the body for sustained change and also to help resource people to feel recharged and avoid burnout.


Our restorative yoga workshops and embodied work slow us down to process, integrate and soothe our nervous systems and find our feeling of safety and to choose a response rather than a reaction based on our emotional triggers. This is needed in discussions of race which can be often very emotive and charged. Embodiment can help as we have mentioned, to support resilience and racial stamina when we lean in to discomfort if we routinely come back to the body. When we can slow down to allow our feelings to be felt instead of avoiding them, they can move through us, and our nervous system becomes regulated, we then can become emotionally regulated and feel an ushering of restoration, stillness and balance which is a good point to start from in guiding you to the best course of action in discussing race. Our workshops can help support all people doing anti-racism work for these reasons.



The restorative yoga workshops we offer particularly support black people and people of colour that experience race based stress and trauma primarily. We are delighted that Own Drum work is currently backed up by the American Psychologist and yoga therapist Dr. Gail Parke who recently published the first of its kind book that invites everyone, not just those directly impacted, to explore the intersection of yoga, race and ethnicity, and to consider the psychological impact of race-based stress and trauma on everyone. It describes how Restorative Yoga can be used as an effective self-care tool that helps you navigate the stresses and traumas that arise from daily lived experiences associated with race in her book Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma .


What is Restorative Yoga?


Restorative yoga can calm and balance the body and mind.


Restorative yoga consists of a set of poses that are held for an extended period of time in gentle stillness using supportive props in order to enable deeper relaxation. There is opening within the poses but not stretching. It is a receptive form of yoga that is very different to active yoga.


The supportive props are used in a creative way without actively straining the muscles. Surrendering weight to supports whilst softening into stretches allows the body to access the calming parasympathetic end of nervous system and the two vagus nerve branches that support rest, digest, recharge, safety, flow, social engagement and recovery. Breath is used to focus awareness and attention throughout the practice. Tired bodies and over active minds can rest and restore. Restorative yoga calms the entire nervous system and nourishes the body down to the cellular level whilst also cultivating self-compassion.

The pillars of this unique practice are silence, stillness, darkness, warmth and time.


You are not working with the particular race based stress or trauma in the practice, but you are working with the nervous system to evoke the relaxation response. When you are dealing with chronic stress and anxiety, your nervous system remains active, causing muscular tension even as you sleep. Because of this the body never fully gets a chance to fully relax. Restorative yoga allows you to come into a state of deep rest without falling asleep, enabling you to notice where the body holds tensions and the points of relaxation. The stories of the body can unravel in their own time, as your body recognizes that it is safe for them to emerge and release in this space.

It rejuvenates, supports resilience by giving you an opportunity to recover before your next experience of stress, and prepares you for wise action. This is vitally important for people experiencing continuous, cumulative and reoccuring stress from microaggressions/aggressions in the present to past traumas. Becuase it is practiced in stillness, Restorative yoga teaches you how to immobilize without fear. As you learn to navigate being safe through stillness, you are less likely to react and act out when under stress, but can instead find a choice to respond from the expansion of your inner space through the practice. Rather than acting on impulse, pausing first enables you to see with more clarity and make more life enhancing and deliberate choices both during practice and beyond, in all of your life spheres.


Restorative yoga is an accessible self-care tool. Anybody can do it and everybody benefits from it, everyone is welcome. Our Restorative Workshops create a compassionate, healing space.


Please contact us to for workshops/classes.


For more information please email owndrum.faryal@gmail.com



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