Why Rest Is Just As Important As Strength

Written by Jen Maio

We live in an over stimulated world - cell phones, social media, internet, wifi signals, music, television etc, the list goes on. We are constantly overwhelmed with external stimuli. Not only that, but we are expected to multi-task at work and possibly at home. Our attention is being pulled in every direction (whether we are aware of it or not)! Our nervous system is not supposed to function this way, one of its jobs is to keep us safe. So when our attention is in various places our nervous system is in a heightened state, and being in this heightened state for too long (over time) is part of what is making us exhausted, stressed, and possibly sick! The stress our nervous system experiences also moves into the physical body, restorative yoga and massage can both help to ease this physical stress. 

Restorative yoga is all about deep passive stretches, with many props and blankets. Poses can be held from 5-15 minutes. Due to the amount of props being used, the idea is to be comfortable and deeply relax. Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues in the body, which also helps to alleviate discomforts from daily repetitive activities and physical stress. Together(but also separately), these practices are deeply nourishing for the body and mind.

Not only do we need physical practices to nourish the body, but also practices for the mind. The stillness and the quiet in restorative yoga (and massage!) can be deeply healing. Doing essentially nothing(mentally), is a powerful tool in rest and rejuvenation. This practice is meditation, the art of fine tuning awareness and concentration. The idea is to just sit with yourself. Sit with all that may come up in your experience and work on letting go of turning thoughts and emotions into stories.

We all know the holiday season can be a really hectic time of year, take some time for yourself this season. You can join me for this lovely self-care workshop this Sunday from 11-1:30pm. Even if you don't and you are reading this, remember to take time for yourself daily, and make it to as many yoga classes as you can during this busy time. When you give more to yourself, you'll be able to give to others without depleting yourself. 

Meg Stevenson