When the seasons begin to change and the days begin to feel shorter, we often feel a shift in our energy. It is important to honor your energy and know when to slow down rather then speed up.
When we are tense and stressed out we are usually activating our sympathetic nervous system or “fight or flight” stress response. Yoga helps us activate our parasympathetic nervous system, or “rest and digest” which is our relaxation response. In a healthy body, the two of these systems work together, creating a balance in the autonomic nervous system so the body can function properly. However, if you are operating at more of a “fight or flight” mentality, like most of us are, in our busy, multi-tasking world today, then finding time to learn how to unwind is key. When we feel relaxed and at ease, our creativity is at its peak.
Try doing this simple cross-legged seat with a forward fold to rest and re-charge and spark your creativity:
*For this exercise you will need a chair and a blanket or two.
Come sit on the ground where you are facing a chair. Place a blanket or two underneath your seat. Cross your shins one in front of the other and flex your feet. Feel your sitting bones root into the blankets and notice any length in your spine. On your inhale, reach your arms up and overhead. Notice the length through all sides of your torso and feel a lift in your heart. On your exhale, reach your arms toward the seat of the chair. Let your arms rest on the chair seat, and allow your forehead to find a resting spot on the chair seat. When your forehead rests on something, it initiates your relaxation response. As you breathe in, feel the breath moving through the body, as you breathe out, imagine your breath moving into your hips, legs and feet. Continue with this breath pattern for 5-10 breaths. To come out, inhale and lift your head, slowly come back to your upright seated position. Repeat on the other side by switching the crossing of your legs, so the other leg is on top.