learning to relax.

Monday, October 15, 2012

mini labradoodle

i always want to peace out of yoga class early when the teacher starts mumbling about listening to your breath. i have no clue how your breath can fill up one specific side of your lungs and i'm not sure i care. but i'm slowly learning the importance of being still and yoga has really helped with that.

mini labradoodle

ed knows how to sit and relax and it baffles me. my mind is always racing to the next thing and, well, the next thing is mostly not that important anyway. there's a difference in knowing how to relax and being lazy and i think sitting still just muddies the waters because all i feel is lazy. why do i always feel the need to be doing something, ANYTHING?

do you struggle with this?

29 comments:

Jo Waterhouse said...

Yes, I struggle with this a lot! If I try to do it too hard it ends up feeling like just another thing on the to-do list, bah! I have to create very special holidayish conditions to relax proper.

Susan said...

our furry children truly know the art of relaxation!

shoegirl said...

After moving to Europe three years ago, I feel I have finally just learned to adopt their focus on downtime and relaxing. Holidays that centered around lounging by the pool used to drive me nuts because I was just dying to get up and DO SOMETHING! Thankfully now, I've learned to slow down, let go and relish in doing nothing. It does a body good!

Kim said...

This is a constant struggle for me. I measure the success of my days by how "productive" I am, so sitting still does not really factor into the equation. More important, even if I'm sitting still my mind is not. I clearly need some help in this area as well.

Lori @ Studio Waterstone said...

I didn't know that I struggled with it until I got married. Hubby was (and still is) forever complaining that my hands and mind are not still. I think and move until my head hits the pillow.

ashleycopier said...

As a college student, an after school art program coordinator, and a wife I am always going. I feel guilt when I am relaxing, it's no good!

Monica L. Shulman said...

I could have written this. When I went to yoga I would always wonder whether every one else had as hard a time letting their mind and body go at the end of a class during "corpse" pose. My teacher came over me and she said to relax my face -- I had no idea it needed relaxing while I was just lying there! I struggle with truly relaxing, and not merely being or feeling lazy, all the time. I'm envious of people who can sit and just clear their mind without having a million thoughts racing through their heads. I have been working on this a lot bc my time is even more valuable and limited with a child. I want to be sure to do so much while she's at school or napping bc I want to really enjoy the time that I'm with her and just be with her. But I guess that as I've gotten older I've learned not to be so hard on myself and that my way of "relaxing" might be to be productive and it makes me all the more appreciative of those moments where I just sit with my husband on the couch or read the paper, or leave the mess in the kitchen for a little while longer in favor of hanging out or sitting around.

the gardener's cottage said...

i honestly believe there is a season for everything. some seasons just demand action, and moving into fall...ahhh, this IS the season to relax. i've been doing yoga almost my entire life and i have no idea how to use only one lung breathing. so maybe i haven't been doing yoga?!

yoga w/o the rhythmic breathing is just not yoga though. in times of crises the yoga breath has helped me through things i'd never think i'd get through. so my advice would be to keep at it, you'll get it. you have your whole life to get it.

also, just want to let you know that i'm a huge fan of your writing.

janet

sumslay said...

Ah, I'm actually jealous of you folks! I have nooooooooo problem relaxing. Like, I look forward to it sometimes (I'll think ahead and plan to do NOTHING some days). When I think about doing something, I'm like, "Why? Would my life gain from me sweeping the porch knowing that it's still windy outside? Naaah." I still get things done - I work 60 hours a week, exercise, tidy up, and do the other things like everyone else, so when it's my time, it's my time.

Funny sn - I met a girl at a party last week and I bet she's like yall: we got into a conversation about soaking dishes. She refuses to soak and thinks that it's just lazy (like soakers are waiting for someone else to do it). Nay, I say! I live alone, and if i make something that's stuck to a pan, you better believe it soaks for 12 hours. And theeeen I clean it. I argued that I'm just better at time management. ;P

sumslay said...

I forgot to mention my love of yoga too! Though i may be a sloth, my mind is on all the time. I never knew "deep breathing" until yoga (Baptiste Vinyasa to be exact).

Lindsay said...

All the time. I had a really busy schedule the last couple months and once things ended, i found myself having a hard time just sitting and watching tv. I try to make myself stay in the nights that I'm free or at least find a new coffee shop or place to hang and just relax.

Anonymous said...

don't worry about filling anything, just try listening to your breath. yoga is about forgiveness, not judging. just go with the flow, b-r-e-a-t-h-e. maybe you are taking a class that is too slow/easy for you, have you tried mixing it up? nothing better after a fairly rigorous practice than being still, winding down and listening to your breath.

Julie said...

At the beginning of this post I involuntarily started trying to fill up one lung at a time. It was rather unsuccessful and funny once I realized what I was doing. I do a pretty poor job of being still but I'm starting to put things in place to force the stillness. My plan is to fake it 'til I make it! It can't be good for us to constantly be racing from one thing to the next. Good luck finding some stillness.

mary said...

Totally true - I think that might be a woman's thing - not to be stereotypical, but it's like we have an innate (or maybe learned) feeling of needing to be accomplishing something! I think restorative yoga classes are the HARDEST.

I know this post was about more than just yoga, but I do agree with anonymous! If you take a harder class, sometimes your mind gets cleared because you are working so hard physically to hold the pose, and then those moments of meditation at the end seem more enjoyable : )

xo Mary of Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer

The Egg said...

learning to breathe in yoga is so helpful in the rest of your life!

xo the egg out west.

Lily said...

I think women struggle with this alot more than men. It is in our nature to always be juggling thoughts (kids,food,work). Multitasking is imprinted into our DNA. Yoga helps, but I find wine works much better ;)

Lily

domestikate said...

You are not alone - I feel guilty if I sit / lie around doing nothing! I need to learn to find peace and rest but have no idea where to start - maybe yoga is the answer?

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

Embarrassed to admit that sometimes I'll watch documentaries WHILE I'm doing yoga because just exercising isn't enough. But then I curl up and read for a while. Oh well.

rebecca said...

anon and mary-
thanks for the yoga advice. :)

Rebeka said...

I think inability to be still is common among our generation. We have been taught to believe that busy is good, and that we should always be doing something because doing nothing is definitely lazy. Go, go, go, all the time. You know? I don't think it is just you by any means. I struggle with it too.

Rebecca said...

yes! well said. if you find the solution, i'm standing by...waiting...not relaxing.

stephsousa said...

Omg...me exactly!! :) But I keep trying!

Elizabeth Soule said...

Oh yes! I feel the need to be productive every moment of the day. I don't know if it's being a workaholic, artistic, or just neurotic (I claim all and none of these depending on my mood), but I can't be still without feeling like I'm wasting time. Yoga is a huge struggle, I've opted for Zumba as it feels productive... Any thing you figure out on this, please share as I would love to feel more at peace.

Shoko said...

yes, i do. sometimes it just frustrates me more to try to force myself to slow down...so i try to just be patient. if i feel like doing something - anything! - i just give in :)

Gita said...

Yep, yoga is a great way to relax, even for just a tiny bit. I'm always trying to concentrate on the muscles that are working while breathing and then I slowly wander away and feel... Relaxed :).
And yes, I always have this need to be doing something. But that's just how we are. Neurotic. ;)

xx
http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

Abbey said...

This made me laugh out loud -- i have no idea how to breath; in yoga or in my life, I think.

Anonymous said...

It's this whole new world of blogging -- there is always the next thing to be, to be better than someone, to be as pretty... my goodness, where are we headed as people?! even the religious bloggers are through-the-roof consumerist.
that being said, I do like your blog. but this is something to think about.

Anonymous said...

mean to say the next thing to 'buy'

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..

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