2020 has been a rollercoaster of emotions.
The global pandemic stopped us in our tracks. We have had to navigate a new normal with social distancing, face masks, and stay at home orders. Then, as we were starting to emerge from our homes, racial injustice reared its ugly head and inspired us to take to the streets to demand change. These concurrent stressors have left us vacillating between anxiety and anger. These emotions are often held in our bodies, and it is incredibly important to help the emotions move through us. This year is different because it is not a single event that has us on edge, but a daily state of stress that has peaks and valleys.
For this type of daily, erratic levels of anxious energy, we can turn to restorative yoga to help during these challenging times by releasing tension in the body, mind, and heart.
Emotion has been called energy in motion, and it can be channeled in positive ways. We have all had the experience of a rough day at work. You can have the incredible feeling of releasing the day through movement. Whether you went for a run, hit the heavy bag, or hit the gym, the emotion moved.
Restorative yoga is unique in that you set up the posture with bolsters (or pillows), blankets, and blocks. The pose does most of the work for you. Rather than holding a strength move, you simply lay out your props, lay your body on them, and relax. The “work” is more about working in as opposed to working out.
Slow diaphragmatic breathing, present moment awareness, and allowing yourself to let go all help with moving from stress to a deep sense of center.
Click on the video here to enjoy a 20 minute restorative yoga practice to help move emotions during these challenging times. Remember to breathe deeply, and let any feelings of sadness or anger move through you.
Enjoy at least a minute or two in each pose and notice how your mind slows down. Then, a sense of clarity will arise. This clarity can help us to purposefully act and not react to our circumstances in 2020 and beyond.
Photos by Natiya Guin