Monday, November 13, 2006

The Slow Movement

Over the past few Saturdays, I've been taking Restorative Yoga class at the Liberty Movement Studio in Liberty Village. The space is gorgeous and the teacher awesome but I wasn't expecting it to be so utterly relaxing. I've always been a smash-up and down kind of exercise-doer, from the early days of dance classes to crazy-ass aerobics to biking like a maniac, so the idea of slow movements for the benefit of my health never really occurred to me, like ever. To me, exercise has always meant lots of sweating, moving and high kicks.

But that's not always the case. The benefits of restorative yoga include the highly important act of resting the brain. True rest, something where my mind isn't going a mile a minute and I'm not bouncing from topic to topic, isn't something I've ever done before. And considering my disease is completely stress related the idea of quieting my mind is an important one.

And it's strange that restorative yoga, where you hold supported poses for long periods of time, makes me far more tired than my pilates class does; it makes me so relaxed that I actually rest, something I most certainly do not do enough of in my real, hectic life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I’ve tried gentle yoga but not restorative yoga. Perhaps I should. The gentle yoga was not so gentle and I couldn’t hold the poses for very long (bad back issues for many, many years). I’ve also learned that stress can cause (or increase) the back pain and that the pain can cause stress. A Catch-22. I now do hydrotherapy (exercising in a pool with very, very hot water). I believe it has saved my sanity and kept me walking. I also do “mindful breathing” which slows down my way-too-active brain. Whatever keeps us going, right?

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