Spring, with all its’ seasons, quite literally in one day, has definitely arrived.
The birds are busy gathering food for their nesting. The flowers have enjoyed the unexpected mini heatwave last week, and the bees are a buzzing as they gather early spring pollen.
The start of Spring marks the start of new beginnings, as well as the astrological calendar new year.
It would seem this year’s New Moon in Aries on 1st April, is heavily backed with a productive energy.
It wants us to plan, dream and create, it wants us to play.
As the weather changes so frequently every few moments right now, I am also aware of the need to balance all this creativity, planning and play with rest.
This can be readily observed in nature.
When the sun shines, flowers and plants open up to receive the daylight energy and allow pollination but as the night draws in some have evolved to close their petals, a process called nyctinasty.
These plants conserve their energy (as well as protect their pollen from moisture and frost) for the daytime, when pollinating insects are most active.
The sleep we get at night is a great opportunity for us to rest and restore, but there are other beneficial ways too.
We practice rest in the form of Savasana at the end of every yoga class.
We explore the idea of physical integration after a series of Hatha poses, and in Yin we rebound or feel the echo after each and every pose.
Practicing mindfulness, truly living in each moment, can also be a welcome rest from our busy over thinking minds.
Daytime naps (although not always accessible I appreciate) are scientifically proven to increase productivity and brain function.
One of my favourites though, is Yoga Nidra, or Yoga sleep, and if I’ve not got enough time for this, I simply sit for a few moments experiencing my body and breath.
The idea of moving then resting plays out in the wild vividly.
Have you ever watched a nature documentary (or seen first-hand) animals as they play or hunt? They move, they pause, they absorb or reflect, then they move again.
Rest is vital for all living beings to thrive and indeed survive.
When we go into the various stages of sleep at night our brain is given an opportunity to heal itself, to clear out the debris from the busy mind, active body, moving day.
Sleep is essential.
It keeps us healthy and energised, but shorter rests have their own benefits too.
Savasana is a wonderful balancer of the nervous system.
It down regulates the body, shifting us into our parasympathetic nervous system, where digestion, the immune system and other essential systems are restored and enhanced.
Practicing Mindfulness can aid in the reduction of anxiety and stress, as well as regulating our emotions.
Yoga Nidra improves our waking mindfulness, as well as enhancing our cognitive performance and memory.
In Yin yoga our rebound is a magical place where we learn to slowly rewire our social conditioning, as well as connecting, learning about and cultivating a beautiful relationship with ourselves.
Wow – what a wonderful world rest is.
I’m certainly going to be integrating more of this into my life this month.
And you can too, come join me on the mat or cushion and let’s reap in the rewards of rest together.