Those of you who know me, know that I am a proponent of taking time to restore. I urge individuals with whom I have contact to take a few minutes of deep breathing during the day or when particularly stressful situations arise. “Feelings come and go like the clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” -Thich Nhat Hanh. I have studied and guided many restorative yoga sessions and it is so fulfilling when someone can settle down, relax and restore during a session and then take that sense of wellbeing with them. There are simple ways to adapt these forms at home using pillows and supports that are available.
How do we know when we need to pause? It is easy to know if we make it a good habit to center in, drop in the heart and feel what is going on inside. There is so much outside stimulation, we are constantly being touched from the outside. It is up to us to stop and be within so that we can make ourselves feel better – from inside. Nothing from our external world can make a deep dread better. Nothing from the external world can eliminate fatigue. Nothing. What can is the conscious intention for it to be, along with some practices to help us get there. Conscious breathing is one, restoring in restful forms is another, walking or sitting in a natural setting (nature is our best teacher) is another, sitting in silence for some minutes is another. Find some go to “places” of rest so that you can create space to restore and reset.
And no one has to know about it. It is your own personal relation with yourself. That can eventually become empowering, creating confidence, joy, peace and whatever else that is nourishing to our wellbeing. The reason I am writing this today is because I recently came through many weeks of managing many things and pushing through. My practices allowed the feelings to come up to say, “you need to rest and restore – you need a reset.” I like the word “reset” in this context, because it is exactly that – setting anew. Visualize picking yourself up from the state of fatigue, stress and unease and setting yourself down in a clean, warm welcoming place.
How do I restore? I take what feel like luxurious baths of epsom salts, baking soda and lavender. I place myself on my mat and prop myself up in different ways and release. I massage the muscles on my face – notice how the body relaxes from doing that – in an intentional, slow way with a little pressure. I put the lists aside – even when deadlines loom. Everything will be there when we return from our healing journey of a moment or more. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
May you be happy. May you be free. May you be compassionate. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.