REST: You Know You Need It!

Several weeks ago, I began teaching Discover Bliss, a self-care class for women who don't think they have time for self care.  In each class the participants experience self-care practices like gentle and restorative yoga, Reiki, meditation…while they are discovering for themselves what self-care means, what practices and activities light them up, and how they can bring all of that into their lives in a more consistent and realistic way.  It has ben a joy to share this class with this amazing group of women. 

One of the practices that I invite the participants to explore daily is Savasana (corpse pose – our final resting pose in yoga).  As a restorative yoga teacher, I feel so strongly about taking time every day to rest – even 5 minutes of conscious rest goes a long way.   My restorative yoga teacher, Judith Lasater wrote the quote below, which inspires me every time I step onto my mat:
 
There is always a part of us that knows what we need.
LIVING YOUR YOGA: A sure way to suffer is to deny the knowledge that bubbles up in us from deep inside. Try this: unroll your yoga mat, lie down, and wait for your body to tell you what to do instead of you telling your body what to do.  Even if you spend your whole practice time lying there, you are deeply honoring yourself, living in the present, and, at the very least, you will be more rested! (From A Year of Living Your Yoga.)
 
So here's your practice:

Savasana:

(If you have low back issues, are pregnant or experience digestion issues you might want to try Savasana on your side (preferably your left). Also, you may want to avoid Savasana on your back if you become overly anxious or suffer from depression. As with any physical/exercise program you should always consult your doctor before trying a new practice.)

·         Start by simply lying on your back, knees bent. Feel the earth supporting your whole back body from your tailbone to the back of your head.

·         Place a blanket under your head and neck for additional support. Position the blanket in such a way that your chin drops slightly lower than your forehead, but is not tucked in.

·         Extend one leg out at a time.

·         Place a rolled-up blanket underneath your knees to help relieve any tension in your low back.

·         Allow your arms to rest gently by the sides of your body, or anywhere else that is comfortable and restful.

·         Close your eyes – make sure you are comfy and warm. Cover yourself with another blanket if need be.

·         Breathe a few nice, deep, even breaths. Take notice of any areas of tension, breathe into those areas and consciously release them.

·         Eventually allow your breath to fall into an easy, natural rhythm.  With each breath, soften more and more  - inviting your mind to gently watch the rise and fall of your breath as your body begins to rest and relax.

 
Go Deeper
 Feel your heels heavy; your sacrum (the triangular bone between the back halves of your pelvis) heavy; the back of your ribs heavy; the back of your skull heavy. Allow Mother Earth to hold you gently as you take deep rest.
Allow your spine to lengthen and ease its way along the ground.
Let your arms slide a few inches away from your torso, turn the palms upward, and let them rest heavy on the ground. Feel your collarbones spreading wide and releasing through the shoulders and down the arms. Free up your neck, finding a long, supple line of energy. Relax your eyes, jaw, lips and tongue.

Allow your body, your mind and your spirit to just be, without any movement, any chatter, any judgment. Give yourself permission to give in and give over, and ENJOY!.

Peace, Love, and Bliss,

Beth

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