Tom was shocked that my restorative practice lengthened into an hour yesterday and declared that he could never do that because he was “too fidgety.” I told him he was wrong, because propping the body the right way would remove the discomfort, hence no fidgeting. After thinking about it, I realized that actually, I was wrong.
Fidgety is a word that could describe the body, mind, or energy. Since all three affect each other, if one is out of balance, the rest are likely following. If you are feeling too fidgety to even attempt to rest, take a look inward and try to find the location of the imbalance. If you’re in physical pain from a tight muscle or an injury, you might need to stretch or do some massage prior to practice. When your thoughts are hopping from one topic to the next and you can’t stop the internal chatter, a short breathing or meditation practice could help you settle before first. Lastly, when you’re feeling too much of something (tired, awake, nervous, annoyed, whatever), it’s time for an energy balancing practice.
Restorative yoga is an energy balancing practice itself, but I’m going to offer another one. Maybe you’re at work and don’t want to explain to your boss why you are laying on the floor with your legs up the wall, or you are driving and should be paying attention to the road, or you’re at Home Goods and you just can’t get comfortable lying on that shelf despite the multitude of discount bedding available to use as props. If you are in a situation like this and still need an energy balancing practice, try the “Cool Mist” visualization.
Sit comfortably with a straight spine. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a calm comfortable environment. See, feel, or imagine your body is encased on a soft white mist that extends about three inches from the skin. On your inhale, breathe in through your nose and image the mist draws in and expands into the entire body. Pause and feel like it absorbs into and nourishes every muscle, organ, cell. Exhale and imagine it leaves the body through the skin and reforms again. Repeat this for as long as you like.
Let’s say that you are in a place where you can set up your body for restorative yoga, but your body, mind, or energy are too unsettled to get started. Do this visualization for a few minutes before or after you set up. If there’s an area of physical discomfort that a prop can’t fix, imagine the mist goes directly to that area of the body that needs healing attention. The rhythmic breathing will soothe both the mind and energy. Hopefully at that point, you can finally lose those ants in your pants, and have a great session of relaxation.
#yoga #restorativeyoga #yogachallenge #relax #yogapractice #meditation #energybalance #pranayama
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