This month’s Heatwise Explores is brought to us by Heatwise instructor, Libby Nicholaou. A devoted restorative yoga practitioner and student, Libby offers insight into this practice and invites you to join her this Spring 2022, as she leads the Heatwise 20-Hour Restorative Yoga Teacher Training.
“a body is a field of moving energy and a system of information. as life continues its fluctuations, we tend to gather attachments, burdens, and sorrows. We hold them so tightly that they become embedded in the body, causing blockages and disruptions in the flow of our system, which can limit access to the best possible version of ourselves – this sometimes manifests as ailments or disease as well as a lack of believe in our own power and a lack of understanding of the universe. When we use purifying healing techniques, the body begins releasing these knots of attachment, allowing our field of energy to return to balance and move more freely and powerfully, this causes changes in our body: not just physical changes, such as the healing of disease or ailments, but immaterial and internal changes as well, such as believing in oneself more, the growth of love, and the aspiration to grow into wisdom. Really, there is no separation between the mind and the body; they move together as one under the leadership of our mental contents.”
- yung pueblo, inward
As a human being you carry an accumulation of material inside of you: your experiences – both lived and inherited –, your desires, joys, and fears. When you digest your internal material it moves through you and gets integrated into your life in a healthy way. In this case, digestion refers to processing, reflecting, and releasing.
This can be done through talk therapy, journaling, art therapy, mind-body practices and so much more. When you aren’t able to digest the material, it can get stuck inside of you, leading to sickness, confusion, anger, and sadness. Fortunately, there are tools to keep these experiences moving through you in a healthy way, even if it has been stuck inside you for a long time.
And there is no shame for wherever you are, as each person’s experiences are different and affect them in unique ways.
Restorative yoga is a mind-body practice that supports the digestion of the accumulated material inside of you. Restorative yoga activates the rest and digest functioning in your nervous system, which enables the breath to move more freely through you.
As the breath moves freely, it supports muscles in releasing tension and helps the tissues in the body to become softer. As the physical body finds more ease, it sends messages up to the brain that it is safe and can also rest. Over time this creates balance in the body, mind, and spirit.
Balance opens the door for further healing on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.
When the body is in a state of balance, other areas of healing open up. There is less anxiety, fear, sadness, and stress taxing the nervous system. The mind becomes clear, which creates space for creativity, intuition, and wisdom. You may feel more at ease and centered. Establishing balance in the body is something most of us have to commit to over and over again.
Through practices like restorative yoga, you can bring your body back to a place of balance every time you practice. Then when you are out in the world and experience unpredictable challenges, you can remember the balance you experienced in your restorative practice and try to integrate it into the present moment.