This is perhaps the aptest description for your mind I’ve heard. Buddha described the human mind as being filled with “drunken monkeys.” In other words, he is saying that without discipline, our mind can be a wildly uncontrolled space. (Forgive me, as much as I searched, I couldn’t find a direct citation here – it seems like fairly common knowledge – but if you’d like to dive deeper into the origins of this expression – forgive me twice because here’s a Wikipedia article).
Your brain wants to work and it’s not always linear. On any given day, we have over 6,000 thoughts. We’ve trained it to work. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but there is another integral piece of the puzzle here. The brain also needs rest, and our hearts and minds sometimes need a break.
“Slow down, Brianna.” My teacher said to me succinctly, albeit lovingly. She said this a few years back in an attempt to reign in my intensity. “You’re ‘go go go’ all the time, you need to balance your life out with something slower.” Admittedly, I needed to hear it. So, with that, restorative yoga breezed into my practice in 2012, when I was in yoga teacher training. Now, it’s my primary focus of teaching. Sure, I still teach vinyasa (and I still love it), but restorative brings me peace.
Each Monday night, I watch students walk into class, brows furrowed and shoulders tensed. They plop down their props, grab a seat, and stare at me as if thinking, “help me, relax, lady!” At the end of the 60 minutes, they barely shuffle off their mats, pace slowed and breathing tempered. It’s an incredible transition in such a short time, with a small amount of effort.
The practitioner in restorative yoga or yin yoga is working their way to meditation. It is a slow transition. She focuses only on breathing and stillness to start. Eventually, he finds himself in a zone of sorts. Zero focus on the body.
I highly recommend adding a restorative class to your practice when you can. Try it once a week at first and go from there. You’ll find added flexibility and calm.
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