Rest Is Not A Weakness, It’s Essential:

by Carole Bourne

“Deep rest is a state where there is no movement, no effort and the brain is quiet”

Rest is not a sign of giving in or being lazy.   Quality rest makes a valuable contribution to your body, to your mind and definitely to your soul.  Now more than ever, as stress and anxiety levels rise on our planet, moments of quality rest throughout our day are essential for the prevention of exhaustion, fatigue and confusion.

I’m a strong believer that quality rest is an exceptionally restorative, nurturing and healing practice. The body, when given the opportunity, can and will, begin to rejuvenate itself.   Rest is a vital and essential process that decreases wear and tear on the mind and body.


Crocodile pose (makarasana)

Of course when I talk about rest I’m not suggesting chilling out on the computer or in front of the TV.  I’m talking about giving yourself permission (for 5 minutes or longer) to switch “off” totally.   Withdraw your attention from the outside world, direct all your energies inwards and simply sink into your body.

Try this fabulous deep rest exercise:

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple relaxation exercise pictured above.  It’s one of the most effective ways to calm yourself down and trigger the feeling of deep rest.  In fact at my recent Slow Yoga Relaxation Retreats in Bali one of the participants felt incredibly restless.  We tried childs pose, legs up the wall, and quite a few more, and the only relaxation exercise which conquered the restlessness was crocodile pose (pictured above).

Calm an anxious or nervous stomach easily:

Crocodile pose (makarasana – as shown above) is a deeply restorative yoga pose.  It calms the mind, soothes the nervous system, and focuses the mind.

This is a great pose for connecting with and really feeling your breath.  It helps quickly identify any anxious or nervous feelings you might have around your stomach area and gives you the opportunity to let go and relax this area of your body.

I don’t think I need to give specific instructions for how to rest in crocodile pose.  The picture explains it all.   Lay down on your tummy, rest your forehead on folded arms, close your eyes and follow your breath.  The rest will happen automatically.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

NaN August 16, 2010 at 5:40 am

Thanks. I have a problem with closing my eyes, when I try to meditate. I fill pain in my eyes. Two problems: (a) I can’t manage to stop thinking; (b) I used to look at the equations (to see the problem) while I am thinking (I study engineering). So, when I close my eyes, the thinking process continues, and unconsciously my eyes try to follow the equations (I can feel its movements behind my eyelids ) but it can’t, which results in with pain in eyes and headache.
I have this problems for years. Also, this has weaken my ability to be innovative, to solve non-one-step problems (since there are not down there on the paper). I can’t solve problems which need to take multiple steps to be solved, especially when taking step one opens multiple choices, as it happens in playing chess likewise. I can’t think to predict more than one movement. If I try to imagine his next movement, since I can’t see it on board and my eye tries to see something has moved, again the pain in my eyes…
I have been doing yoga for years, but without its meditations.
In other words, my eyes has been hard-wired to the brain’s thinking section, there is one-to-one relation between them.
Any advise to break this relation? (and sorry for not being concise and my poor English).


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