Chasing Relaxation

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" - Buddhist Proverb

I can't get over the idea that relaxation finds me - I don't have to pursue it. I can invite it, but I can't get to relaxation by running harder, working faster, or improving myself.  For me, complete passivity is not actually relaxing. For instance, if I lie down and close my eyes, my body is in a "relaxing" position, but my mind is still active. If I open a book or turn on the TV, that is actually more relaxing for me than the passive position of lying down with eyes closed. The narrative in my mind gets more wild than most books or television shows - I need to remember to buy ketchup, I wonder where I put my glasses, I think about an interaction I had with my son and wonder if I handled it in a manner that was healthy, and then I realize I have to pee.      

Yoga (especially the restorative kind) allows my body to be active so my mind can calm down. Once I've completed my yoga practice, both my mind and my body are primed to relax. At last, I can lie down and close my eyes and experience peace. When I'm in a good space, I do the same thing with my kids. Instead of telling them "it's time to do x or y," I start doing it and they often become curious or interested and feel invited to come along. This is how it happened in the pictures below - my husband returned from school with the kids on an evening when I had arrived home before the rest of my family. I got out my yoga mat and started doing my practice. My daughter saw me when she came through the door and she asked if she could join me. She snuggled right in.  I didn't have to chase her to do something I wanted to do. But she felt invited.  I don't have to chase relaxation, but I can find it by creating an invitation.

Side view: Janu Sirsana

In this picture, the sole of the left foot meets the inner right thigh.  The right leg is extended (put a micro-bend in the right knee if you experience lower back pain). 


Front View: Janu Sirsana


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