Settling Into Stillness
Through practicing yoga I have learned that sometimes what I need most is what I avoid the most. Winter is approaching and I can feel an inner knowing telling me to slow down and take care during this upcoming time of hibernation and stillness.
Long holds in yoga and the stillness of final resting pose used to be incredibly hard for me (and honestly still are at times). There are so many other things I could be doing, and so many thoughts my mind would rather consume itself with rather than my breath and this present moment.
Stillness of the body and mind is a luxury. An incredibly healing luxury. It's easy to forget that. We're programmed by others to be constantly productive and "better". It can be uncomfortable to slow down, to give your mind space from the comfort of repeating thought patterns, and to just be with yourself. In this moment. As you are. Perfect.
What a gift. What a beautiful thing to allow a body and mind that are constantly working to have an intentional and healing rest.
Restorative yoga is one form of that type of deep intentional rest. Resting poses are aided with the support of blankets and other props to allow the body to settle into complete comfort and stillness.
Nourishing for the nervous system, a natural immunity booster, and a physical reset, restorative yoga is a healing gift you can give your body and mind. That's why I am hosting two Restorative Yoga Sessions at the end of the year (see dates below).
May you find rest and restorative stillness this coming season.
I invite you to take a few moments before bed to allow yourself to fully relax and find comfort. Laying on your back with your legs long and your arms by your sides with your palms face up, take a deep breath in through your nose and let it go with a sigh.
On your next long inhale, squeeze every muscle in your body as tight as you can, then let it all go as you sigh out an exhale. Repeat two more times letting yourself sink into the bed or floor a little more each time. This simple action signals to the body that it's ok to relax and brings you out of your thoughts and into the present moment. How do you feel now?
If you still need help relaxing, focus on one part of the body to squeeze and release to alleviate additional tension (inhale/squeeze and exhale/release your right hand, your left hand, your right foot, your left foot, ... ). See how much tension you can let go.