I don't think we really think the state of rest and relaxation as tools for our overall health. In our reality, states of rest and relaxation, are powerful tools. Here's why:
There are deep healing benefits when it comes to allowing our bodies to go into a state of relaxation or rest. When our body is in its most relaxed state, we allow our it to come to a state of homeostasis, which invites its natural healing ability to happen. You often hear that our bodies need sleep in order to repair themselves. Whether that's sleep for physical and/or emotional wellbeing, it is true. In fact accessing a form relaxation, in addition to sleep, is important in order for our body to reap its healing benefits.
Below are a list of benefits when we seek the tools for Rest and Relaxation:
reduced stress and anxiety
improved mood; effective against depression
decreased blood pressure
chronic pain relief
improved immune health
stronger cardiovascular system
and of course, better sleep
The state of relaxation is foremost the most important tool to allow us to access better health and wellbeing. The opposite effect is true, if we live in a constant state of stress and exhaustion, we allow our bodies to invite the state of dis-ease. Working in time to schedule rest and relaxation, with intention, is most beneficial to our health.
Take a moment to think if you are allowing these tools into your life. Are you making excuses of lack of time or feel like you are wasting time, just to rest? Rest and relaxation actually enhance productivity! And it's clear, we are a society that needs these tools but often overlook the benefits. When we think of rest and relaxation as tools, it empowers us to make a positive change to our health. That's why, I always say, the most important posture of all at the end of a yoga practice is Savasana, aka Corpse Pose. When we surrender, allow or give ourselves permission to rest and relax, we allow our body to absorb all the benefits mentioned above.
Join me tomorrow at the PCS&M Chapel for Yoga with Ana, where we will use the practice of Yoga to access these tools for our and others' wellbeing. Registration is encouraged https://www.pcsam.org/event-details/yoga-with-ana-the-self-care-doula-12 Hope to see you there!
Love and blessings,
Resident Yoga Teacher and Self Care Doula