30 days of yoga, Uncategorized
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Day 4: Fight or flight

Restorative & Stretch with Dionne @ 8:00pm – 9:15pm @ Urban Yoga – Business Bay

Restoratives are all about nourishment. Counterbalance your busy lifestyle with a slower, gentler yoga. Sometimes taking the time for more restful poses is the most strategic, efficient skillful way to meet the demands and challenges of a high-impact life. These are the yoga practices that can alleviate chronic headaches, eye strain, heartburn, intestinal pains! Perfect for anyone who feels “pulled apart” by their own commitments, perfect for anyone who struggles to get enough sleep, perfect for finding that feeling of freedom and peace in this chaotic urban jungle.

Journal entry

Day 4 is a rest day. Well not technically, but after feedback from seasoned yogis that I should include a rest day in my practice, I consult Dionne about this, asking whether perhaps Restorative classes could be counted as “rest” days. She agrees. So that’s settled.

Restorative yoga is one of those things that can be difficult to justify doing. For one, classes can get expensive, and the effects of the class are not always felt immediately or in the same way you would a flow, or even yin, class.

To be fair, to the uninitiated, it can feel like lying around and doing nothing. One could do that for free on one’s couch.

But the point is, one doesn’t. At least not in a way that is meaningful and well, restorative.

Arriving on the mat for a restorative class is a way to say “Thank you!” to your body. A way to acknowledge what it goes through, and all that it does for you, and to give it the love it needs. It’s not about pushing limits, finding an edge or moving deeper into a stretch necessarily, but more about finding stillness, embracing the act of doing nothing, and of basically telling your body, “Here’s the break you deserve!”

Today my mind is racing, the thoughts are indiscriminate and voluminous, good, bad and neutral, and it seems an impossible task to quiet my mind. I struggle and try hard, but in the end stop fighting my mind as I try to get it to sit down and behave, as a fed-up mom would do with a toddler, and just leave it be. I try to focus on the breath, I try focus on being present, but it still feels impossible. As Dionne references the monkey mind, I picture him (of course it’s a him, it won’t sit still) leaping from branch to branch, from tree to tree, shaking their leaves and making a mess on the ground.

Twenty minutes in, I find my first mantra of the day, and towards the end, the second. Both speak to me strongly, and I repeat them over and over in my mind until the close of class.


Short sharp breaths send a message to your brain


“Fight or flight”

Trick your brain with long deep breaths


What you feed your mind is as important as what you feed your body.
What you think has the ability to impact your physiology.

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