I get asked a lot about restorative yoga and why it’s important to focus on relaxation. We even had someone ask us why they should come to the class to “lay around”. Restorative yoga is all about relaxation and in this fast paced high intensity and distraction saturated environment, people need to find ways to relax their minds as well as their bodies. Restorative yoga can be very challenging for the person who is always on the go because it invites consideration for relaxation and letting go. There is a real science to it. Different conditions warrant different movement and poses to help the body and mind settle in and relax. For a person who is feeling high energy intensity from the day, it’s always smart to start them standing up or at least moving to get the energy to settle down. For a person who is suffering from fatigue, starting sitting or laying down is helpful. The practice can take many different directions, but it ends up in relaxation. Applying appropriate breathing techniques as well as supported postures allows the nervous system to access the para-sympathetic response and further nurtures the enteric nervous system for digestion. For the busy person who finds it difficult to slow down and relax, this class can be challenging, but certainly much needed for recovery. Sooner or later, the busy person can hit a wall and be faced with imbalance, colds, flu, and even more serious conditions. Try it out, especially if you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed, or out of balance. It could save you a trip to the doctor’s office.
This last 18 months, I have re-discovered how breathing can shift my mental and physical health in either direction. Through the study of Buteyko Breathing Method, I’ve learned how to transform my mental awareness to one of anxiety to calmness and a feeling of sharp alertness. When I’m breathing light, my focus is sharp and I feel my best. My skin has a healthy glow to it and my overall physique has improved. When I begin to feel signs of anxiety or overwhelm, my attention goes to my breath and sure enough, I have begun to breath faster. Slowing down and taking slow mindful breaths deep into my tummy helps me to relax. I owe this all to my practice of Buteyko. That’s what I got more educated and started to incorporate it into yoga therapy. To understand more, go to my article written for the West Seattle Herald or schedule an appointment. I will be teaching a 5 week series on Buteyko coming soon.
I love this time of year when the weather starts to change and I’m drawn to new routines. I love to walk especially after rain; it smells so fresh. The earthy textures and smells awaken my senses. If you don’t have a regular practice of meditation, you might try using a short walk as a way of practicing mindfulness. So many of my clients say that they have a hard time sitting and meditating. Why not try a walking meditation. The Fall is a perfect time to try it with all the changing colors and smells. Take a short walk, and allow your mind and senses to focus on what you see, smell, and feel. If your mind wonders, as it will do, just remind yourself that you were just thinking, and return to sensing. You can even try verbalizing to yourself what you are sensing. The dew, the earthy smell, the soft leaves… This type of meditation allows your awareness to expand and it can be very relaxing. Take a break from thinking, planning, and worrying, and try to use your senses and enjoy.