Skip to main content

Express Relaxation for a Busy Week

This week is one of those nonstop weeks for me.  In addition to my current fantastically full schedule of teaching, working the desk at Karma Kids, and massaging, I'm assisting my wonderful teacher, Jyothi Watanabe, as we take 19 lovely new Thai Yoga Massage Practitioners into the Lotus Palm fold.
So in deference to the extra craziness of the week (and to my body's response to it, which so far includes a chronic headache and my voice disappearing among other things...), I'm keeping this week's blog super short and sweet.

Whether you're relieving stress, a headache, or having trouble quieting down for sleep, here are two surefire ways to help restore your body:


1. Balasana - Child's Pose (also known as Wisdom Pose)

This is my all-time favorite yoga pose!  It can be practiced with the arms extended forward or resting alongside the body.  I prefer the latter, as it really lets my shoulders relax and stop working, but that's not comfortable for everyone.  If your head doesn't comfortably rest on the floor, rest it on a block or a pillow.  The brow line should be in contact with a surface, which is a huge part of the calming, restorative nature of this posture.  Breathe deeply, feeling your belly soften down onto your thighs and your back release.


2. Eye Pillows!

Any number of things can substitute an eye pillow.  Even just a little piece of cloth or some cotton balls soaked in rosewater resting on the eyes can be nice.  The great thing about an eye pillow is it has a little extra weight, encouraging the eyes to completely relax.  It helps to visualize them sinking way back into the sockets, relieving any extra strain or holding on the brow or the tiny muscles around the eyes.

My friend and fabulous restorative yoga teacher, Kelly Brennan, showed me another great way to use an eye pillow during her restorative class at Karma Kids last Tuesday.  Putting the eye pillow just above your eyeballs and across the brow can also be extremely calming.  She doesn't care for having too much weight or pressure against the eyeball, and so this is a great alternative she uses for herself.  I tried it in legs up the wall (pictured) and it felt heavenly!


See if you can take a little time for yourself this week, whether it be 15 minutes resting with a nice eye pillow (or washcloth) across your eyes or brow, or 5 breaths in balasana.  You'll be so glad you did.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magic of Brain Gym

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about Brain Gym yet!  That is absolutely bananas, and also sort of great because after a few years of incorporating the little bits and pieces I learned from Shari (founder & director of Karma Kids Yoga and the only boss I've ever had with whom I've also done crazy things like the pose on the right, which she named "fart neck"), I finally took the "Brain Gym 101" course this past weekend to learn more in depth about the what's and wherefore's.

Brain Gym is a lot of things, but what it is primarily is a way to facilitate better learning through movement.  Although it started in the field of education and helping children learn better, everyone can benefit from it.  You may be reading and writing just fine, but do you have a situation where you struggle to communicate your needs clearly to a partner, a friend, a co-worker?  Do you struggle with random bouts of unexplained anxiety that you struggle to release…

Faith in Humanity

The oft-quoted Kathrine Switzer, long distance female trailblazer, once wrote, "If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."

Marathon Sunday is always one of my favorite days of the year in New York City.  I've spent these Sunday's over the last eight years that I've been here as a spectator and cheerleader, both in person and on the couch in my boot nursing my injury last year, I've been a volunteer, I went down with other marathoners and marathon volunteers to Staten Island after Sandy in 2012 after the race was canceled - and I've spent the last two years fighting to qualify for it.

Next year will be my year, along with my 'sole sister' (I'm making it happen) and work wife Laura, so this year was another year spent being absolutely inspired beyond measure cheering on the sidelines.  Seeing the heart, the raw emotion, the joy, the pain, the absolute love from the sidelines and from the runners is awe inspiring.  Ye…

Grateful.

It's been eight years today since I've been with the love of my life.

A few months from five years married (Costa Rica, here we come).

Eight years and a couple months since living in the city.

Seven years of Friendsgivings in NYC with my chosen family.

Seven years of Karma Kids Yoga - more chosen family and buckets of kids.

Ten years since college; fourteen of the friendships.

One picked-clean, no leftovers turkey last night.  A table of desserts.

And in ten days we do it again with family.

This morning I'm tired, still full, and grateful.