Resolve to Relax!
Well, knock me over with a spoon! I lost several pounds during our certification program in restorative yoga in October. By relaxing and minimizing anxiety with PROPER, supported restorative yoga poses, my cortical levels reduced so much the flight or fight response minimized. Our bodies hold weight when under stress!
So how do you lose weight by doing nothing? Resolve to practice restorative yoga along with your strength training and other movement such as walking.
Resolve is our theme for our 2011 winter curriculum at The Yoga School of Therapeutics
We invite our students, faculty, and volunteers to meditate more; practice and learn new skills in yoga; stay fit and eat a healthy diet; and create more fun and be more social.
Imagine 50 men and women stepping over one another’s yoga mats laid out among l00’s of cotton yoga blankets and l00’s of yoga bolsters with our digital cameras perched on top of yoga blocks! The sound of 50 voices in our 3000 sq. ft. space would often lift to a less-than-calm-pitch. The yoga teachers upstairs leading our public classes said they heard us “laughing through the ceiling.”
It feels good to feel so good! Who does not have time to take 20 minutes to relax? You do! Here’s how:
- Find a certified yoga teacher, AND certified in restorative yoga. There are many “knock offs” saying it’s restorative yoga but it’s not. Check it out.
- Invest in good yoga props. You’ll need six “Mexican” blankets (inexpensive); two yoga blocks, a strap and two yoga bolsters. Invest in a silk eye bag or use a cotton cloth to block out light so the eyes are not simulated. This helps the frontal lobes of the brain to relax.
- Stage one of relaxing is physiological. It takes 20 minutes for most folks to reach this stage. You must be l00% comfortable and warm and supported. In this stage the blood pressure lowers, the EKG slows, and the brain releases the healing hormones and chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, etc.
- The motto of the practice is Still, Quiet, Warm, Dark and Safe. Even if you think becoming still is not working for you the physiological benefits are impeccable and moving through your nervous system, brain and body.
- The second stage is what the yogis call “Pratyahara” or withdrawal of the senses. Bliss, bliss, bliss! When you reach this stage a loud noise may be outside the door but you do not feel that jerk or nerve response as your body is now in the parasympathetic mode. This means your nervous system is resonating peace and calm.
- If you fall asleep don’t worry about it. It means you are tired.
- Keep a journal of the changes you feel. I’m betting you note that you are sleeping better, less cranky, have more energy, and feel optimistic for no reason at all.
Over a year ago, the neurologists at Kansas University Medical’s Hoglund Brain Imaging Center scanned my brain as a base model for a study on yoga and its effects on the brain. I held still, only blinking now and then for 35 minutes with electrodes taped to my head and chest (not exactly comfortable). The doctors came running in at the end asking “How did you do that?” My BP, brain waves, heart beat, etc. became so slow and low while meditating it broke all records. “It’s 25 years of relaxation and meditation practice,” I said.
This year: Do you have 20 minutes of calm and quiet to give to yourself? It’s an act of love. It reflects your high self-esteem.
This in itself may be the most important focus for 2011
With Love and Caring…….Suzette
Suzette Scholtes is Director of Teacher’s Training and Founder of The Yoga School of Therapeutics, 10400 W. 103rd Street, Overland Park. Her writings have appeared in national magazines and published by New Leaf Publishers, Atlanta. The yoga school calendar of classes and workshops offers much help for your resolutions to create a healthy and happy new year. Check it out at www.theyogastudio.com or Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9l3 492-9594.