Finding Stillness

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Each week we are be exploring a restorative yoga pose or breathing technique with images/video and tips.  Check in at Lacuna Loft on Wednesdays to anchor your week with peace, grounding + community (and don’t forget to join the dialogue all week long by posting comments).  Excited to journey together!

After our holiday shuffle (next year’s #1 line dance?), I find myself worn out.  My mind and emotions are still spinning from all the people, conversations, travels, plans, and events.  My body is a little battered from the extra sugar and dairy and I have a bit of a cold.  I didn’t even really have or make time to think about new year’s resolutions or intentions.  Lucky for me, after driving 6 hours in the snow to get home, I’m here alone for almost 48 hours.  Just me, two dogs, a houseful of chores, and some quiet space.  Time to relearn the balance of work and rest, doing and being.

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This morning I had tea and watched the dogs play.  I took them out and then did some slow yoga on my mat (head cold + downward dog = won’t do that again).  I began unpacking our clothes and repacking our Christmas decorations.  I slowly ate breakfast while enjoying a new magazine.  I got on my computer to do those e-mail to-dos that pile up and then I got some paper and colored pens out to work on a timeline of 2014 (details below).  Then I did some dishes, walked the dogs, came to write this post, and am planning to do some reading with tea before dinner.

I’m noticing a pattern here…  Move around, find stillness.  Progress, reflection.  Left to its own devices, my day has been a resetting of rhythms.  How can I learn from this yearning inside me and protect these rhythms as the pace picks back up?  What could I add in once a day to remind me that I need daily reflection time, too?  Can we be people who remind EACH OTHER to make space for this important soul growth so we don’t just run over our lives?  (I’m saying that loudly to myself…)  

Here are a few ideas I had for finding the stillness in between the active parts of your day, including one fail-proof yoga pose to help you re-set at ANY time:

  • get a coloring book and do a page a day – invite a friend!
  • journal or free write for 20 minutes
  • drink a cup of tea or water slowly without doing ANYTHING ELSE!
  • meditate
  • take deep breaths through your nose with your eyes closed
  • turn off all your electronics and enjoy reading for 30 minutes
  • put on your favorite music and just move however your body wants to
  • play with a child or animal
  • take a mid-day savasana, “corpse pose” (described next!)

Savasana

  • wear comfortable and warm clothing
  • soft mat or rug to lay on
  • maybe a pillow, eye pillow, or blanket

Lie down on your back and spread your legs long and about 18” apart and rest your feet and ankles.  Spread your arms away from your body with your hands relaxed and palms facing up.  Close your eyes.  Feel your weight sink into the earth.  Notice how supported you are, how grounded.  Rest here for at least 5 minutes, letting go of all thoughts and control.  Mama Earth has got you!

Optional: You can choose to bend your knees slightly and add a pillow underneath to support your lower back (a more restorative version).  You can add an eye pillow or favorite stuffed animal over your eyelids for darkness.  You can add a blanket for warmth.  You can play music… whatever suits.

New Year Timeline

(Note: my super thoughtful friend Laura does this every year, and I invite you to give it a whirl if you are still looking to make closure with one year and purpose for the next.)

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Start with a piece of paper and some colored writing instruments.  Split the timeline into 12 months somehow and then add details like where you’ve been, who you saw, what you learned, major milestones, etc.  I chose to use different colors to show different themes.  Notice what comes to light in the big picture ideas as you step your way into the new year!