23 Feb 2016 What’s driving our need for restorative yoga?
I shared a beautiful article on 15th February on the Create Facebook and Twitter pages about the practice of restorative yoga. I loved that piece and I tend to only share content I really feel will add value to my clients and readers. This was a well written article, although there is a lot of good content around these days. What prompted me to write this blog post is not so much the article content, but the reaction I saw in the community. It was one of my most retweeted and liked shares on Twitter. It was quoted and shared on Facebook. Why is that? We are in deep need of this practice, more than we realise.
The article reiterated what I say to my clients every day – that in our technology-driven society, we have become too focused on accomplishment. We are contactable every minute of every day, we have busy, stressful lives, working hard, long hours. The pressure to achieve is everywhere, or else what? You are not good enough, not strong enough, not competitive enough. It’s an awful lot of pressure physically, mentally and emotionally for our bodies and minds to take in. Never before has this need to achieve been impressed upon us. I believe that our only way to cope with these constant demands is by running our lives on automatic pilot, neglecting to listen to our bodies’ needs.
You only have to look at this effect on our exercise routines. The influx of Crossfit, Bootcamps, Military Fitness Camps – push hard, feel the pain but you will achieve! Of course we need a combination of exercise routines – we need cardio for heart health, but it cannot be everything. If you live a high achiever lifestyle, why take that to your leisure time?
What are you hiding from? Restorative yoga will not make you sweat or feel the burn. But it’s hard. Mentally, it is hard these days being still, present, aware. This is an area many of us do not engage with anymore. We don’t have time because we have so much TO DO!
You may be reading this and thinking: why would I need to learn to be still? It’s easy – your mind and your body need it. The mind and body are so interrelated. You cannot drive one without the full commitment from the other. If you are committed to your health, wellbeing and longevity, total downtime needs to be part of your routine. Living in a prolonged fight-or-flight state can lead to chronic stress and all the health related issues that go with this. When you allow your body to truly rest there is a physiological response that promotes health and healing in the body.
So if you are a little nervous about trying the art of being still, that’s a good thing. Leaving your comfort zone is the way to grow. So take off the Fitbit, scrap training plan of weights, push ups and miles run just for once and give a restorative yoga class a go. What do you have to lose, except a little stress?