So much of life these days involves movement. In the past 2 months, I was in 9 different states, 8 separate plane flights and 4 car trips. Seeing the landing gear of the plane descend and the brake flaps engage got me thinking....
In a culture that is always on, how do we gear down?
In the 10 years I have been teaching and doing Restorative Yoga it has become one of my three go-to practices to slow down, see the other two in upcoming blog posts. The feel of the props holding and cradling my body and the ability to be supported in just right way to completely relax is a rare opportunity to let go and be still. In the past trainings I've taught, I'll often describe it as a feeling similar to that of being on a float in a pool where the props mold to the body in such a way that all your muscles relax. It's here that the magic happens.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) kicks in calming the body and moving into rest, digest and restore rather than staying where we mostly reside; in fight, flight or freeze. When the PNS activates: our internal awareness increases, muscle tension relaxes, the mind becomes quieter and more introspective (for some this may take a little more practice to still the mind), breath rate smooths out, and many more benefits for both the physical and energetic body.
What can be overwhelming at first is how to fit this practice into a daily routine that is doable? I've found that picking one or two postures to do in 10 minutes can be rejuvenating and restorative especially after a full day of activity. At night try a taking your legs up the wall (use a variation for high blood pressure or tighter hamstring muscles), a supported twist or a simple supported constructive rest pose and feel the layers of tension release. Your body and breath relax and calm. The landing gear descends and the brake flaps settle into place.
yours in practice ~ ellen
Restorative Yoga YTT at Soulful Awakenings July 21, 23, 30 - look under the training tab.
If you are a member of YogaInternational.com there is a Restorative Yoga Video I taught online. You do have to have a membership to access, but they often have a free trial going on.