Do you ever feel like there are times when you really want to sink into a deep and delicious restorative yoga pose, but can’t because you’re busy? In today’s episode, I’m sharing a 2-minute, totally invisible relaxation technique that will help you calm your nervous system so you can go back into your day with a greater sense of peace, presence and perspective. The best part is, you can use it when you need it, right where you are in the world.
Intro: Hi, it's Amy here, and welcome to The Prana + Patchouli Podcast. I'm a restorative yoga teacher and this is where I share my self-care tips, spiritual tools, breathwork and guided meditations to reduce stress and raise your vibration. If you haven't already, be sure to hit subscribe, so you never miss an episode.
There may be times in your life when you really want or need to sink into a deep and delicious restorative yoga pose, but you can’t.
And just as a side note, if restorative yoga is new to you, it’s a practice where your body is supported by props, like blankets, blocks and bolsters, which of course you can’t just pull out anywhere, and you fall into a deep state of rest and relaxation, as your nervous system calms down.
Perhaps you’re in calls or meetings, or you’ve got a lot of family things going on.
With the Totally Invisible Relaxation, you can actually relax when you need it, right where you are - sitting or standing. This is a technique that I learned from the fairy godmother of restorative yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater.
As an introvert, I’ve personally used this whenever I feel overwhelmed at social events or parties (not that I go to a lot of them - but this helps me calm and clear my energy when I do!) I even did this at my own wedding and nobody noticed!
The first part is realising that you need to relax. If you practise restorative yoga regularly, you might find it easy to just drop in, but if not, know that you’ll get better at this with practice!
If you want to try the Totally Invisible Relaxation with me now, you don’t have to move anywhere else. Just bring your attention to where your body is in space, especially your spine. Sit or stand with your spine nice and long. See if you can avoid rounding your lower back if you’re sitting, or slumping if you’re standing. You want to find a gentle, concave arch at your back waist.
Once you’ve found that, make sure that your head and neck are aligned with your spine. Imagine a string, attached to the crown of your head, gently lifting you up. Close your eyes if you can, or just soften your gaze down towards the earth.
Then bring your awareness now to your breath, and inhale deeply, before you exhale completely.
Take several long and quiet breaths here. If your breath seems stuck anywhere, it’s likely that you’ve lost the lift of your spine. When your spine is lifted, your diaphragm works efficiently and your breathing feels easy and light.
With every exhale, let your shoulders drop away from your ears, with your arms long and fluid. Your hands can rest in your lap or on a table, or simply let them and your arms just hang from your shoulders. Soften your belly, and notice how it moves as you breathe. Feel the rise and fall. Relax into that flow, and release any tension around your forehead, eyes or jaw.
If you’re sitting down, your thighs are likely supported by a chair. If you’re standing, keep your feet rooted to the ground, but only use as much effort as you need to be there. No more.
As you inhale and exhale, be exactly who and where you are. We often think we need to find the perfect place to relax. One that’s completely peaceful and still. But don’t try to separate yourself from what’s happening around you. What is within you and around you is part of this perfect moment. It reminds you that you’re one with the Universe. Notice the sounds close to you and further away. Feel the weight and texture of your clothes on your body. And weave all of that into your relaxation practice.
When you’ve finished, take several more slow, smoothe and silent breaths. Softly open your eyes if they’re closed, and allow your vision to come back into focus as you let the light in. You can go back into your day now with a greater sense of peace, presence and perspective.
This is always a nice way to take a break - so you can return to work with more creativity and energy. And like anything, with practice it becomes easier.
I hope this serves you and I’ll see you back here next week.
Outro: Thanks so much for listening. If you’re ready to go deeper, I have a free mini yoga retreat waiting for you over at pranapatchouli.com/retreat. It’ll help you find emotional ease, fill up your cup and follow the whispers of your soul. *Deep exhale*. All you have to do is head over there now and enter your name and email for instant access. I’ll be back next week with a brand new episode, so until then, from my heart to yours, Namaste.