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.


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…

Home is Where the Heart is

One of the most cloyingly saccharine cliches of all time?  Yes.  True?  Also yes.  Sort of.

It's been an incredibly eventful three weeks.  At the end of June, my sister underwent major abdominal surgery to repair a major diastasis caused by two back-to-back large pregnancies.  On that same day Marc and I headed up on the Megabus to Massachusetts for a fun long July 4th weekend of family (including our two delicious little LeVasseur nephews!), wine, fun, and going through endless boxes of nostalgia from his childhood as his parents prepare to put their gorgeous house on the market.  The baby pictures!  The metric tons of books! The middle school poetry!  Oh, the earnest and terrible middle school poetry...

Then last weekend, I flew to SC for a whirlwind celebration of the twins' third birthday with family (third!!!), helping out my sister, who is recovering beautifully in every sense of the word.  Just shy of three days of nonstop work, play, and extreme highs and lows of overs…

Health Scare

I had a whole draft of a blog in my head all made up, but it has been a day.  And now that I've come down from all the life-stuff of the day, I'm left to ponder with a growing, nauseating dread what 217 elected representatives voted for today.

Forgive the pun-y and ridiculous title.  I'm just so afraid that this is our country now.

In case you're wondering who voted how, check out this helpful page in the NYTimes.

Listen - we all know Obamacare wasn't perfect.  But I know several people who would literally not be alive today without it.  I wouldn't have health insurance without it - and you better believe I use my health insurance.

Instead of having a group of adults who can intelligently discuss policy and talk about improving our health care system, we have a group of children who stick their fingers in their ears and simply shout about destroying any bit of legacy President Obama may have had.  They've denigrated this so deeply that there are literally p…