15 Dec How To Recharge During The Holidays
Originally posted on FH Match
December 15, 2016
It’s clear that the Holiday Season is upon us. The time of year when the calendar starts to fill with obligatory parties and gatherings and store windows glisten and gleam with the latest must-have gifts. The time of year when we find ourselves stretched thin on time and usually forgoing even the smallest form of self-care in an effort to make it all happen.
When our minds are racing and the to-do list is never-ending, we can find recharge with restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is a practice that uses props (bolsters, blankets, and straps) to allow both the body and mind to relax. Poses are typically held anywhere from 5-20 minutes, offering time to fully unwind and succumb to the benefits of the posture.
The challenging part about this practice is accepting the stillness. Letting the thoughts start to quiet, the breath start to deepen and the body an opportunity to fully relax. When the body and mind start to soften, more focus can be placed on the breath. As the breath deepens, we signal to our nervous system that we are safe. When the body feels safe, it can function at it’s best and restore from the inside out.
Check out your local yoga studio or gym to see if they offer restorative yoga. If you’re curious to try it, here’s one pose, Mountain Brook, that you can try at home. Gather up blankets and pillows, find a quiet spot, and set a timer. Take at least five minutes, press pause on the rest of the world, and revitalize yourself.
Find a flat surface to lie on (you can use a mat or blanket underneath you). Sit in the middle of it and place a bolster (you can also roll/fold a towel or blanket, or use a pillow) under your knees. Take another bolster and place it under where your mid back would lay onto the floor. Place a pillow (or folded blanket) about 6 inches from the second bolster so it can support your head.
Lie onto the second bolster and allow the chest to expand. Make sure that the armpits are at the top of the bolster and the tops of your shoulders are on the ground. Bring the head towards the earth and rest on the props.
Be sure to keep the natural curve of the spine in the neck (moving the props accordingly) so the chin points straight up towards the sky.
Set your timer for anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
When your timer sounds to bring you out of the pose, slowly bring movement back into the body, roll to one side and then press yourself up to a seat.