In the hustle and bustle of life, some memories hold a special place. Simple joys elicit the most refreshing emotions. One such favorite memory of mine, is walking by the shore with ocean waves merrily dancing around my feet, often sinking them deeper into soft sands. The lull of waves crashing onto rocks, the distracting caws of seagulls as they fly by and the warmth of sunshine, is more than enough to rejuvenate me.
Isn't there something relatable about the experience above that brings back memories of a restful time?
Our life has inadvertently transitioned to the high speed lane, leaving us with little time for self-care. Mentally and physically fatigued, we either desire adventure, or some quiet time to break away from the monotony of work. The simple act of reading a book by the ocean or taking a walk in the woods, becomes alluring and almost a necessity. While going on an adventurous escapade or retreating to a quiet cottage by the sea might sound tempting, getting a real break might seem distant.
So, is the idea of rest a difficult proposition to toy with? Does the idea of rest remain a wishful dream?
I love all my adventures filled with colorful travels where I can learn about cultures and of course, my soulful trips to the ocean! However, a few weeks after my trips, as the hustle of life takes over, the desire to take another break rapidly crawls in! Wouldn’t it be glorious to have a sustainable and ever-present source of rest that doesn't fade? Tapping into our inner resources for rest has found merit in the age-old practices of deep breathing and yoga asanas (postures). Unwinding after a busy day or starting your day with a few holistic practices, can help you navigate the stresses of everyday life. Instead of allowing stress to accumulate and eventually derail your mental and physical health, you can take charge of the pressures of life, with strength.
Deep breathing or Dirgha Pranayama is an ancient breathing practice, that was an integral part of lives in ancient India and Far Eastern cultures. In recent years, Pranayama has been researched extensively and is being recommended as an effective method of treatment by the medical community, to reduce stress and anxiety. Deep breathing activates relaxation response, improves digestion, boosts immunity and relieves anxiety. Including breath meditation in your life can have a positive impact on your health and keep stress at bay. To learn basic deep breathing, click here.
Another method for finding rest is through restorative and easily accessible, yoga postures. Often, these postures can be done lying down, like the Supine Twist (Supta Udarkarshanasana) or walking your legs up the wall (Viparita Karni). Another popular posture that brings rest is Child’s Pose (Balasana). This posture relaxes the mind, elongates the spine, opens hips, among many other benefits. If staying in this posture for long is uncomfortable, placing a cushion under your hips or under your head is a great option. For those who have difficulty reaching the ground, chair options are available!
Simple strategies, like the few listed above, along with good sleep hygiene and a healthy diet, can be cultivated and inserted into regular lives. They are restorative, ubiquitous and rewarding. However, yogic practices require discipline and the intention to find peace, for the benefits to become tangible.
Inspired? Start your journey today!
Author : Deepti Gupta
All of us have a story to tell. Turning ideas into words and life's experiences into stories is empowering and fulfilling.