3 Keys To The Lost Art of Rest
The other night I was in a hot yoga class. When I say hot, I’m talking tropical rainforest hot.
People were mat to mat. I was dripping sweat before I even started to move.
It was so hot, that when the person behind me took a deep breath, the breeze on my shoulder actually felt refreshing. Eww. I know. But ‘dems the breaks of hot yoga.
Anyway, about mid way through the class I couldn’t even.
Yes, that was a complete sentence.
I couldn’t do even another down dog or plank to save my life. It was so hot. And I was so tired. I was cooked.
So I moved myself into child’s pose in order to rest while the teacher instructed the class through a challenging plank series.
But when I got to child pose, my mind did not want to rest. It said, “Come on, Erin. Just try one more plank.” “Just try one more warrior.”
So essentially I was in child’s pose, but I wasn’t REALLY in child’s pose.
Because my mind was trying to convince me I should be somewhere else.
And so I wasn’t really getting the benefit of the rest, or the benefit of anything else for that matter.
So I played a little game. I pretended that the teacher was actually telling everyone to take a nice big juicy rest.
Of course she was not saying that. At all. But I imagined it.
And then I moved back into child pose where that simple instruction of being told I was SUPPOSED to rest, allowed me actually rest.
And be fully in child’s pose.
My mind relaxed. So did my body. And I started to cool off.
Now, you should know that the story does not end with me feeling fully rested, jumping back into class and finishing strong with a headstand.
Nope. I basically moved from child’s pose to Shavasana, lying on my back, taking a rest the whole second half of class.
But here IS what happened.
I left myself alone.
I stopped telling myself I should be somewhere other than where I was.
And as a result, while I didn’t finish strong or do half of what was intended to be done, I felt satisfied.
I fully lived in my body. Wholeheartedly.
And because of that, I walked out of that hotbox feeling at peace and at ease.
And my friend, isn’t that the whole point of yoga?
And well, life?
This is the lost art of rest.
You too have permission to leave yourself alone.
You have permission to bow out and rest in child’s pose.
You have permission to stop whatever it is you are doing, even when you had every intention of plowing ahead.
But whatever you do, fully do it. Inhabit it.
Be the soul of wherever you are. Make it yours.
Leave yourself alone.
As always, I invite you to share your thoughts on this. Are you ever in one place but think you should be somewhere else? Do you struggle with giving yourself permission to be wherever you are, even if you don’t think it is where you are supposed to be? And gosh, how do you feel about hot yoga?:)
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
P.S. Have you checked out my video of the month? It has movements and mantras you can do from where you are reading this right now. You can watch it over here.