Did you know that there is no greater gift you can give yourself than a little break from all the busyness, even just a few precious moments of relaxation.
YOU can help yourself restore equilibrium in any moment.
We often think we need a physical vacation (which don’t get me wrong after a year and half being in a roller coaster of lockdown and isolated in our homes this would probably be pretty helpful), but there are ways we can also revitalize ourselves without having to go anywhere.
I invite you to make your way into a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down. Make sure your body feels supported, taking your time to settle. If it feels comfortable you may want to slowly close your eyes and start to deepen your breath. Bring your awareness to your belly and simply feel the gentle rise with your inhale and the softness in your belly as you exhale.
After a few cycles of breath, give yourself a moment to sense yourself – you may feel recharged already, or you may be a little more aware of how much you’re holding in this moment.
I wonder if you can now bring your attention to the top of your head and your forehead. With your inhale – tensing every muscle in this area and as you exhale release and relax your muscles. Welcome in a deep breath. Now bring your attention to the muscles around your eyes and your nose, again tensing as you inhale and allowing a slow release as you exhale. Make your way from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, alternating between tension and intentional relaxation, not missing a part of your beautiful body temple.
When you’ve journeyed through every part of your physical body, take a big full breath and tense EVERY part of you, pause after your inhale holding the tension, and with a big powerful exhale release and soften through your whole body.
Engaging in a full body progressive relaxation practice, offers us an important reminder of the difference between a restrictive and an easeful relaxed state – we often forget what the experience of relaxation feels like, especially if we spend a lot of time unconsciously holding the weight of the world in our bodies.
As you cycle between contraction and relaxation, it’s important to give yourself permission to surrender into the experience of relaxation. Believe me, I know this is not always easy.
The history of our lives weaves a web through our tissues; the small day to day stresses, the life changing moments of joy, and also moments of trauma that touch our lives.
Working hands on with people for the past 20 years, I have felt and witnessed the effects on the mind and the body when we just keep going. The stories and the associated stress continue to accumulate in our tissues, unless we make a conscious choice on a regular basis, to give ourselves permission to unwind the imprints of stress and to create, or recreate, internal space.
This is a practice remember, and the more you carve out time for intentional relaxation, the more you’re also showing yourself compassion and self love.
This complete relaxation exercise supports the parasympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system – this is where we heal from. As we release tension through the body, we also may start to notice that many of our self imposed limitations and our armoring begins to fall away.
Over time you may notice you have more patience, you may find you feel clearer and you have more energy, and as you start to shift internally you simply begin to feel better in body, mind and spirit. I wonder if Edmond Jacobson knew the gift he was giving us back in 1920 when he invented and studied the effects of this practice. For this I am grateful.
If you can, take at least 10 – 15 minutes after the progressive relaxation practice to relax and simply breathe, soak in the effects of this mini full body renewal.
We are living in such a wild time, and so much is coming at us from all over, I write this today as a reminder that your nervous system needs this time, not only your nervous system, but every part of you needs this time.
Be gentle with yourself and I urge you to send compassion and kindness to the parts of you that may resist this experience. Honour their stories, and offer them a new way of being in your body.
Sending you love on your journey,
Just a reminder that I’m taking the next little while off of my live teaching – following my own advice and honouring the need for some integration. I will also be taking a journey this month to sit with my mom.
I do have additional wellness support which will continue during this time, offered to you in a way that honours your own unique schedule, through a monthly video subscription
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