Final relaxation at the end of the yoga class begins and there she goes: her foot starts to anxiously beat side to side; her fingers tap on the mat; her hands come up to her neck to rub and then she checks her watch; her arm falls to the mat with a thud; her foot starts again, this time like she is playing a bass drum with her knee beating in time…and on it goes throughout savasana. For many people and for many reasons, this is the hardest pose in yoga.
This inability to be still is not uncommon. We are so caught up in going, going, going that when we do stop or even pause, we start to feel guilty because we aren’t doing something. So, we keep going, keep pushing, keep adding more until our bodies force us to stop. Then, we can avoid feeling bad for resting because we have the excuse of being sick.
What if we were to consider that maybe sometimes resting IS the hard work we should be doing?
In an age of the glorification of busy, we neglect to recognize the toll it is taking on us. When we actually take the time to slow down, our bodies have time to catch up. Our muscles can heal, we can digest our food and our experiences, our immune system can fight of invaders at full strength, our nervous system can calm, our hormones can balance out, and our minds can clear.
It is ok if it takes some practice before slowing down feels less like something is wrong or missing and more like we are getting into the flow of our own natural rhythm. When we slow our bodies down and reduce all of the doing, our minds may tend to ramp up. We are so conditioned to constant cognitive stimulation that our minds may attempt to fill the void.
We may also find that when we begin to do less, we have space in which to actually feel our emotions and notice our thinking patterns. That experience can be overwhelming and we can start to question if we can cope with what we are experiencing. This is where we must hold on, allow ourselves to notice without judging, and breathe. If we can do that, we will be able to move through the experience rather than stuff it, numb it, or deny it, ensuring that we will have to feel it at some point later.
And we can move on in a healthier way.
So, this week, try scheduling in time throughout the day to take short breaks. If it helps, remind yourself of all of the work your body will be doing to heal, catch up, and reboot while you are doing “nothing”. Give yourself permission to heal. It’s really important. And it could provide the space you needed for the inspiration, answer, or insight to flow in.
And of course, I will be trying with you. In fact, for the next few minutes, just sit and breathe. Let’s thank our bodies for all of the work they do to keep us in balance even as we are working against them. And then, go schedule some time off.
Chat again soon,