Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Relaxing into (using LSD)

I love the life metaphors I stumble across during movement. I have already shared with you some of the bigger ones I've discovered while hill running. I have also discovered many through yoga, both in teaching and in my own practice. A few weeks ago my students were using a strap to make a particular pose more accessible.

I cued them to connect with their breath, and to use their exhales to allow space in their body to deepen the pose.
See, exhaling helps relax the body. When it comes to yoga, the body panics a bit when you're trying to stretch a muscle outside it's normal, everyday length. The muscle doesn't want to be ripped or pulled so you're prevented from lengthening it any more than feels comfortable. And as long as you are tense or stressed, forget it.

However....if you keep the breath slow and deep, activating the relaxation response, you will be able to deepen the pose. A long, slow, deep exhale sends a signal to the brain that everything is okay (because your body is in a relaxed state) and the accessibility of a stretch will be more available to you.

Feeling safe = relaxed = ability to move more effectively beyond your comfort zone


And this is so true for life too isn't it? The more you fight your comfort zone, the more you cling to it, fear it and panic when you become aware if it's nearing edges, the less likely you are to move beyond. But the more you relax into it, allow it to come and calmly push the walls of it out to expand it, the more likely you are to see the lessons, feel the freedom and evolve into a higher vibe version of you.

So how can you relax as you go through the discomforts of evolution in everyday life?
Just like in yoga, find your LSD breath - long, slow and deep. Breathing in as slowly as possible, noticing the filling of your belly. Pause when you can no longer draw in any more breath, then let it out as slowly as you can, noticing your belly collapsing. Pause once you've let go of all the breath you possibly can and begin the cycle again. Breathing this way sends your body the message that it is okay. It's the quickest way of reducing anxiety and reducing tension, providing you the space necessary to find gratitude, calm and peace. And it's the only way you will be able to expand that zone of comfort that's keeping you where you are.

So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or fearful, try this breath for a good 5 minutes and observe what changes take place. A bonus of this tool is that nobody knows you're doing it, you can do it anywhere, anytime and costs absolutely nothing. But the benefits are huge.

Let me know how this goes for you.

xo
Rachel

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