Are You Constantly On The Go?

Woman Practicing Yoga StretchI live in a relatively small town in a tiny suburb in the Midwest.  Although I can walk to some of the shops and restaurants here in town, there really isn’t much to offer.  Because of that, I have to use my car a little bit more than I would prefer.

My car is an older model.  In fact, it’s slightly older than my teenage son.  But it’s in wonderful condition because I take really good care of it.  It is always tuned up, the fluids are always at proper levels, the tires always contain the proper amount of air, I keep the filters cleaned, it always contains high quality fuel and I make sure to warm it up properly before I use it.  Because I take such good care of my car, it has always been very reliable and I can trust that it will get me where I need to go.

Now, imagine that I didn’t do all of those things to my car.  What if I never allowed my mechanic to peek under the hood?  What if I ignored warning lights and sounds and just kept on driving?  What if I chose to save a few bucks rather than updating filters and fluids?  Very likely, my car would overheat or break down and I would be in trouble.

Our bodies work the same way.  We must always make sure that we fuel them properly, replace the fluids that are lost, care for the muscles and stay away from bad habits that could hurt us.  But it’s equally important that we allow our bodies to rest and relax.  While food is fuel for the body, relaxation is fuel for the body, mind and soul.

Recently, I discovered that I was “on the go” way too much.  Besides my duties as wife and mother and responsibilities around the home, I have a job, do the writing and research for this blog, and I write at another blog as well.  Life can get pretty hectic sometimes, especially if I don’t recharge my batteries.

When we don’t give ourselves permission to rest our minds, spirits and bodies, the results can be a disaster.  All of that stress builds up and at some point, usually when you least expect it or would least like it to occur, it blows.  Just like a car will overheat and stop you in your tracks, your body can do the same thing.

I recently started engaging in yoga relaxation techniques that have been very beneficial to me.  Not only do I find them useful for mental stress relief, but I have found them to be useful in relaxing different muscles in the body.  This has helped my posture, my general disposition and my sleep patterns.  This is something you could do with your kids or even your grandparents. And I only need 20 minutes a day.

One of the things I like to do is create what is called a “breathing bed”.  This is done by simply folding a blanket so that it’s 8 inches wide and longer than my body.  I then take another blanket and fold it about 3 times so that my head rests firmly on it and my chin is not higher than my forehead.  Usually, I have another blanket handy because when you get into a relaxed state, your body temperature tends to drop and it’s difficult to relax when you’re cold!

Once I am comfortable, I just begin to breathe consciously.  I picture each breath being drawn in through my nose and I very slowly allow the breaths to leave my body.  It’s important that the breathing stay slow and rhythmic and I imagine the outgoing breaths circling over my body, revitalizing me with energy.

One of the things that I have learned is to surround myself with a glowing white light.  My yoga practice has taught me that this helps you to protect yourself from that feeling of being pulled in many directions and being drained of your energy.

If you have back issues, you can roll some blankets to place under your knees.  You can also bend your knees and spread your feet just wider than the width of your body.  Lean your knees in and this will help to relieve any lower back tension.

Another great tension relieving pose is called “child pose”.  You sit on your knees and fold your body forward, touching the floor with your forehead.  Your arms can drape around your sides.  If touching the floor with your head is too uncomfortable, you can put your arms out in front and rest your head on your fists.  This helps to relieve all of my muscles that tend to “carry” my stress.

Discovering yoga has been life changing for me.  Not only does it contribute to a body that is toned and flexible, but it helps you to get to know your body, relieve stress and become more energetic than you ever thought possible.

There are many yoga classes, DVD’s and books on the market right now.  I encourage you to try one and see the difference!

16 responses to “Are You Constantly On The Go?

  1. I would love to get back into yoga, it really is a relaxing thing to do. The breathing bed sounds wonderful, at times I completely forget what it is like to just be.

  2. You’d think that with my racing mind that yoga would be good for me. I do truly enjoy it, but it just doesn’t move fast enough for me. Not to mention that I have some serious body problems going on that I’m too chicken to go back to the doctor for (a pat on the back and being told I have tight muscles and muscle spasms gets a little old.) I do some of the poses every day though-child’s pose is one of them. The best yoga dvds out there right now, at least in my opinion, is Gaiam AM/PM Yoga-one is with Rodney Yee and another is with a woman whose name is one the tip of my tongue. Anyway, both are very short and good for beginners. I almost have the attention span to get through the whole thing. Sad, huh?

    I’m so glad that you’re taking time to take care of yourself! Keep it up my friend! :-D

    • Thanks Sarah. I’m so sorry that you have issues that keep you from enjoying it. I haven’t tried all of the different poses out there yet as I’m still treading lightly. But the breathing and relaxation poses really help me a few times a week. Thanks for those other tips!!

  3. healthiestbeauty

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

  4. I’m gearing up to take a restorative workshop training that lasts 4 days. Looking forward to it. Normally, I do Vinyasa, but I do like the occasional restorative class. This type of yoga sounds right up your alley. Not sure if you have taken restorative but based on this blog, I think you’d like it.

  5. As much as I hate the gym, I think that yoga would also be good for me too. My mind is ALWAYS on the go (My body is too right now, which is good!) I need to learn how to de-stress. I stress way too much.

    Interesting post as always!!!

    • Thanks Tasha. It has really helped me to de-stress and just become more conscious of my breathing. What I really like is the positive effect on my posture which takes a beating from sitting at my computer so much!! Thanks for the comments!

  6. Oh girl, I can so relate to the “over heating” thing. I told Brandon last night that I felt like I was on the verge of tears for no reason that I could name- just feeling so tightly wound and overwhelmed. But for the 75 minutes I was in yoga yesterday, I didn’t feel any of this. I really think it was the concept of movement with breath. One breath- one movement. Obviously I couldn’t do that with everything. But the power of breathing to regulate and slow down is immeasurable. And who doesn’t love a little time in child’s pose?

    • 75 minutes? Wow ~ hats off to you. Yoga is still pretty new to me but I’m really looking forward to “graduating” to other movements as well. My posture is getting better and I just feel energized throughout the day. Child’s pose is my “go to” at the end of the day!!

  7. Oh I love the child pose! It is soooo relaxing and really helps with stress! Awesome post!

  8. I so need to get into yoga…both my kids do it at school (my son as part of OT in Kindergarten and my Daughter in her pre-school as part of a gym program). I think also the breathing would help in any stressful situations…to help calm kids or even mom down!

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