Just took a great Gentle/Restorative Yoga class today with Kater Leatherman at Ridgely Retreat. Not sure how she does it, but just being in the same room with her has an incredibly relaxing effect.

Today’s class was no exception.   Since she has a very dedicated following, there was a big turnout, but Kater effortlessly took the time to walk around helping people with  props (bolsters and yoga blankets) and made sure everyone was positioned well for the first pose.   Each class Kater teaches is a little different, but to me this class was especially restorative, both for mind and body.

With a heavy emphasis on focusing on the breath, the entire class had a meditative effect on me, even when practicing the different supported poses.   By the time we arrived at the start of Shavasana (the final resting/meditative pose), I already felt as relaxed as I do at the END of many Shavasanas, so the class was a perfect one for me today, especially after a busy holiday weekend.

As for the poses, they were gentle enough for any beginner/age range making extensive use of bolsters to make normally challenging poses very easy on the body.  To my surprise, even using the bolsters, I was able to open up many problem areas of my body which carried tension and do some excellent spinal twists.  All in all a very satisfying class.

In case you’ve never been to Ridgely Retreat before, they have a $20 drop-in rate and a number of other discounted rate plans (10 packs, monthly, etc.) which can bring the cost down quite a bit.   Their ‘treehouse’  yoga studio itself is quite nice, large with cork floors and many windows throughout.

Note: I’ve attached Ridgely Retreat’s current schedule below with Kater‘s class highlighted – you can click on the image to see a larger, more readable copy of the schedule.