In a world where more energy is required of us, than we could ever possibly give, taking the time to relax is a really big deal. As we get busier, it gets harder to find this time, even though we need it more.
More studies than ever have shown that the amount of time spent working and worrying is proportional to stress levels. Meaning, as one goes up, so does the other. Working is a relative term here. Working can include everything from jobs to housework, errands, child care, and caring for relatives.
It's also possible to bear a burden of stress from things that are entirely our of our control. This year has started out with a worldwide effort in the prevention and spread of the corona virus. While many of us are aware of how to prepare our homes, less knowledge is out there about how to prepare and take care of ourselves.
Our physical and emotional bodies are being affected by the changes happening with this pandemic. We read about it, we hear about it, and now we are starting to see changes in our environment as people begin to prepare their homes. Our senses are being overloaded with information, all of which is taking its toll on our physical and emotional health.
This is why its more important than ever to take a few minutes each day and center ourselves in calm energy.
When we allow our bodies time to restore themselves, we boost our immune systems naturally. A centered and calm mind is better at responding to stressful situations, which affects the processes of the body as well. When we're balanced, our digestive system functions at it's best, and our adrenal system produces the appropriate amount of hormones. When we're in balance, our immune system receives all of the energy it needs to protect our bodies.
When we're out of balance, our vital life forces that control the supply of blood and lymph to the body, are used up for flight or fight responses.
If you're familiar with Yoga, you know that there are many types of Yoga that benefit your overall health. One particularly effective style is called Restorative Yoga.
Restorative Yoga sequences have very few poses, that are held for long periods of time. These long holds encourage the body to release, and require little effort from the thinking mind. Even one twenty minute session (like the sequence in this post) can lower heart rate, and bring the rest and restore part of the nervous system online. Many of our students have reported feeling a positive energetic shift after just one Restorative class.
I encourage you to give this short sequence a try at home. Restorative Yoga is most effective when practiced in the morning, and at night. If you are feeling really out of sorts, you may practice this sequence during both. This sequence uses Yoga bolsters, but if one is not available to you, grab a pillow or roll up a blanket. Set the tone of your space, maybe diffuse your favorite essential oil blend, or light a candle. Allow yourself some time to disconnect from your device, and put it in another room. The amount of time recommended for each pose is just our suggestion and is not required. Just try to stay in each pose for as long as you have time for to receive the most benefit.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions, or would like more information on Restorative Yoga practices.
20 Minute Relaxing Yoga Sequence
Supported Savasana: 5 Minutes
1. Lie on your back
2. Place your bolster underneath your knees
3. Adjust until you are as comfortable as you can be
4. You may even place a blanket underneath your head for support
5. Find your breath and allow your body to relax completely
TIP* If you have a hard time lying still or relaxing, don't worry. As you practice it will get easier. If your body needs to move, honor it.
Supported Supine Twist: 2 Minutes Each Side
1. Lie on your back
2. Bring your knees into your chest
3. Move your bolster to your right side
4. Roll your knees over and on top of your bolster until they rest comfortably
5. Bring your arms up into cactus, and if it feels okay, let your gaze move over your left shoulder
6. Find your breath and allow your body to relax completely
7. After 2 minutes, switch sides
Supported Child's Pose: 5 Minutes
1. Move onto your knees
2. Bring your bolster to the middle of your mat (length ways)
3. Lay your upper body over your bolster
4. Rest your head or face wherever comfortable
5. Rest your hands above your head or wrap them around your bolster
6. Allow your hips to sink towards your heels
7. Find your breath and allow your body to relax completely
Legs Up the Wall: 5 Minutes
1. Move to a wall
2. Sit down, and bring one of your hips as close to the wall as you can get it
3. Roll onto your back and swing your legs up the wall
4. You might try resting the back of your head on your blanket or bolster for support
5. You can keep your legs straight, take butterfly feet or open them to a V
6. Find your breath and enjoy the reverse blood flow of this gentle inversion
7. Stay here as long as feels comfortable to you
8. When finished, spend a few minutes in a meditative seat to allow your blood to return to it's natural flow
If you'd like to learn more about the classes we offer at Lilac Lotus Yoga, click here