Imagine a peaceful place, one that immediately makes you feel quiet inside. Maybe it’s a cool and still stone chapel, a deep wood with sunlight dappling the trees, timeless suspension floating in water, or a dark night star-gazing. The experience of peace is palpable and nourishing.
Stillness. The absence of demand. A connection to something greater. Nature and spiritual places provide that sense of peace with ease, if we are open to it. They are created for such a purpose.
When those places feel far away, my gateway to that peace lies in (and on) two blankets, two blocks, a bolster and a strap. A restorative yoga practice brings a similar sanctuary even in the midst of stressful daily life.
Restorative yoga, in contrast to the more well-known active forms of yoga, calms the nervous system by providing a space to relax into supported poses. The practice helps you feel less fatigued and less battered by your stressful experiences, according to Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD., author and leading teacher of the practice since 1971.
I first found the gift of the restorative practice during my high stress business career in Manhattan. As a beginner, my mind filled the quiet space in the long hold poses with shopping and to-do lists and planning activities of all kinds. But the golden moment came, while settling into a supported twist on a bolster, when the stillness shone through and the noise quieted briefly. The muscles along my spinal column released like a zipper, and left me carrying less burden. I groaned with relief. It was powerful enough to keep me coming back.
In modern life, with all its demands and stresses, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that peace is just a decision away. And the only one making the choice not to receive it is you. When stress guides your choices, it may feel like you have no other option than to keep running. There are lots of quite logical excuses that the over-stimulated and fatigued brain will provide to deny your moments of self-care.
The proof is in the practice. Even five minutes a day in a restorative pose can effectively press the reset button. Clarity and renewed energy will more than make up for the investment.
Our new video, Restorative Reset, is a short practice to renew mind, body and spirit. Try it and develop the peaceful place inside of you.
(reprinted from www.gloforwardwomen.com)