As we move head-on into the holidays, it’s not uncommon to hear colleagues, friends (and even ourselves!) talk about a heightened experience of busy-ness.
Celebrations ramp up, there are holiday cards to write, gifts to buy, events to coordinate, special meals to cook, family dynamics to navigate – all of this, on top of the stressors that already exist at home and at the office. And what often happens? We juggle it all at the expense of the deep, nourishing rest that our bodies crave, and the cycle continues. If this scenario rings a bell, you’re not alone.
Though it doesn’t get nearly as much attention or admiration as the rest of the end-of-year holidays, the Winter Solstice is also in the mix, this year falling on December 21st. Marking the start of winter, this darkest day of the year (and the days surrounding it) it provide us with a built-in invitation to slow down and rest—right along with nature.
Enter: Restorative Yoga
In the quest for balance, many people turn to yoga—specifically, restorative yoga. It is a practice that can help calm the mind and body, release tension, and perhaps most importantly, it allows the nervous system a chance to re-set from the damaging effects of stress.
Restorative yoga incorporates the use of long-held postures that are deeply supported by props such as bolsters, blankets, blocks, straps and eye pillows. Though it is considered one of the most accessible forms of yoga in that the poses can be adapted to support almost any body, learning how to rest deeply in restorative yoga is also an advanced practice in the sense that it invites us to do something different than we’re conditioned to – slow down and relax.
Whether its seasonal stress you’re experiencing, or the ongoing pressures of a fast-paced corporate job, a regular restorative yoga practice can enhance your quality of life. It can improve sleep, reduce headaches, boost your immune system, increase mental clarity, and encourage introspection, creating a space where we can truly “see” ourselves in the big picture sense.
For more information on how restorative yoga can support you through the winter months, check out this article from Yoga Journal.
And, click here for a specific restorative sequence to try. Practicing even one or two of these poses at a time can beneficial!
“Employers: Ready to do something different for your employees in 2020? Urban Balance brings restorative yoga directly to your Portland-area office, which helps save time and boost productivity for our clients. Restorative yoga is available as a one-off class or as part of our corporate wellness programs. Contact us to learn more.”