Turning Inward to Shine
For the second 10-15 minutes, lie on your back on a carpeted floor with your feet flat, knees bent and leaning against each other. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart and bring your focus to your palms. Close your eyes. Feel your breath entering and mentally bring the breath into your palms. With each inhale encourage your breath to fill all the inner crevices of your body and imagine bringing in new energy and lightness. Your mind will wander all over the place and that’s fine. Let it go where it wants to go—don’t resist; simply keep bringing your attention back to your breath and your palms. Remove the tongue from the roof of the mouth and let the eyeballs fall back into the sockets. Allow your brain to settle back and rest. You may want to set an alarm before you start so that you’re free from worry about the time; you may even sleep for a few minutes.
With a big inhale of gratitude for these precious restorative moments, slowly emerge from your cocoon by gently opening your eyes, turning on your side to slowly rise, then stand and stretch. Expand the sides of your body by reaching arms overhead and stretching to either side. Then bend forward reaching towards your toes stopping where it’s comfortable for your body on that particular day. If you don’t reach your toes use a tall book standing on its end or a yoga block for support—don’t hang. Stand up and gently arch backwards. How far you reach is not important; what’s important is to elongate your spine after resting. Breathing purposefully and deeply through your nose, note how you feel.
This is the practice of Constructive Rest and you will likely find it rejuvenating and restorative. Constructive Rest has several benefits:
- Reconnects mind and body;
- Calms the nervous system;
- Improves breathing;
- Helps restore and lengthen the spine and hydrate the discs between vertebrae;
- Offers a practical and guilt-free way to honor the need to turn inwards.
To enhance and elongate this feeling of well-being, various aromas can be used after your practice of constructive rest. The scent of a freshly cut orange or essential oil of orange is uplifting and can brighten the spirits. Balsam fir and pine are clean and refreshing and can encourage deep breaths and a connection to the wintry foliage outside.
By turning inwards and satisfying that need for hibernation, you just may find yourself skipping to that office party with a smile, as shiny as the tinsel on the tree.
Laura Freundlich holds a Master’s in Holistic Health Education, is a nutrition educator, a natural foods chef, a yoga teacher and a Young Living Essential Oils health advisor. To learn how to integrate nutrition, yoga, mindfulness practices or essential oils into your life for greater health and vibrancy, contact Laura at Laura@HolisticNut.com.