mulling things over

Restorative poses

We all love restorative poses, don’t we? But I find myself not doing them, because they feel so good and relaxing and stress-reducing. This is just plain ridiculous. It’s some sort of Puritan holdover, I guess. I think I’m only allowed to do them as a reward, or if I’m in some sort of pain or trouble where I think I need them.

Even after I read and loved and used Relax and Renew, Judith Lasater’s wonderful book on restorative yoga practice, and even after reading (nodding my head in agreement) that she did only restorative practices for a year after a death in her family, I have continued to restrict myself from restorative practice.

A few years ago, when I had pneumonia and for a couple of months afterward, I was just wiped out. But I just did Supta Baddha Konasana a few isolated times. Why on earth?

However, for one reason or another, I’ve been doing essentially restorative practices for the last month and a half at home. And just now, after day after day of slow, careful, supported practice, I am starting to see the value of restorative poses. Two big benefits spring to mind:

  • Long-term tightnesses in my body are slowly loosening up.
  • The calm of the practice remains with me during the rest of the day.

I’m amazed! I’ve been told this, I’ve read it, I’ve thought I was acknowledging it, but now I really see that it’s true. Perhaps a third benefit is this:

  • Guilt over restorative practice goes away.

So it’s a good thing I’m writing this post, because I’m going to keep doing these and because if I start feeling guilty about allowing myself to do them I can reread this post as a reminder.

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