We are all constantly reminded that we should be 'getting things done'. We should not be idle. Bombarded with ways to improve. To get stronger. Better.
That if we just try hard enough, we can do anything we want. Have anything we want.
These messages of encouragement from parents, media, and peers are often well intended and can certainly empower us. But for many of us they fire up a journey of constant goal setting, achievement, and success seeking. Not only does this lead to burn out, but can also cause us to 'overpower' our selves: cover up our softer voice and deeper longings, our own wisdom and authentic self. Learning to relax can open us up to hear the deep wisdom in our hearts and honor the reliable guidance that we find there. This softer state of being in our natural flow is not a fixed place at which you finally “arrive,” but rather a practice that you come back to, moment by moment. It takes tremendous courage to relax, soften, and stay open. It is a vulnerable state where so much more joy unfolds than you ever dreamed possible.
Taking down time does not come easy for many of us. Even if we have the time, and are in a beautiful place, our minds are often racing to 'what we have to do'. 'what we could be getting done.' what we need to be getting done. We are not trained in Relaxing. Softening. We don't know how to truly rest. This is what I discovered after almost 25 years of teaching yoga. I have found that most of us feel stressed and overwhelmed much of the time. Most of us live with tension in our body that is wreaking havoc on our health.
In my upcoming book, Deep Listening, I share a series of practices designed to help us get grounded, release habitual tension, so we can truly learn to soften and relax into who we truly are.
And today, I'll share a simple technique you can do right now, at home. And every day all summer long. Or better yet, put your earphones on and enjoy this one in the grass or on the beach. Then take time to relax and enjoy the nature around you.
Practice this 10 minute deep relaxation now.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~John Muir