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November 17 Restore Series

Here - Present

So with the monks gone and the last bit of colorful sand swept up by the brooms and the creek's current, the studio seems a bit empty.  The whole idea of the mandala was about impermenance and non-attachment to things, people, ideas.  The dissolution ceremony was beautiful, moving and ended in a swirling mass of sand on the blue table.  Beauty was still evident in the colorful kalideoscope.  I was surprised that I did not feel sadness at the dissolution of the mandala. Where I became emotionally attached was to these eight loving compassionate beings that graced my life for 7 days.  I felt an intimate connection with these individuals and didn't want to see them go.  Their presence even was felt in my dreams that night.  On Monday morning, I noticed that I was a bit down and discovered that my attachment was to the monks.

It has taken me all week to sort this out in my heart and mind and I am beginning to move this sadness to joy and gratitude.  I am grateful that they were part of my life and showed me that there is hope in this turmoiled world.  You could see it in their eyes, their open, warm hands, their embrace and greetings, and sharing their meals and laughter.  It will always be part of me.

Gone


The Inspiration

I hope that you can find your special time to nap (and it is not tryptophan induced). If you ever needed to convince yourself or someone else of the benefits, look no further than Dr. Weil's advice on napping. Nighty night.


Is Napping Healthy?
Published: 6/13/201
Each Thursday in June the Daily Tip will cover aspects of aging gracefully, courtesy of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging.
Studies on sleep and the opinions of sleep experts are convincing: napping has value. People who nap generally enjoy better mental health and mental efficiency than people who do not. The quality of their nighttime sleep tends to be better as well. Unfortunately, finding opportunities to rest during daylight hours in our society is not so easy - the North American culture is actively opposed to the whole concept, bombarding us with stimulation in more and more places and times.


If you want to embrace the concept of napping - as many cultures worldwide do - consider the following:
  1. Accept napping as a positive thing. Remind yourself frequently that napping can make a day more productive - it is actually the opposite of being lazy.
  2. Do not fight the body's desire to nap. This will result in unpleasant or unproductive naps.
  3. Take naps when you can. If your schedule does not permit a nap every day, consider taking productive naps as a passenger in cars, trains, and airplanes.
  4. Consider time and duration. Napping for too long, too often, or at the wrong time of day can be counterproductive. See what length and schedule works best for you.
  5. Napping can mean just taking a break. Lying on a hammock or just staring into space is the essence of rest - it is not doing that refreshes you in body and mind.
The Poses
Sublime Side Lean
Props: bolster or 2 or 3 pillows or blankets
Benefits: Stretches the torso and provides a gentle twist which allows a release in tension in the lower back area.

Place bolster or the 2 or 3 blankets or pillows horizontally on your mat or floor. Lie on right side with hip at the base of the blankets or pillows.  Torso should rest on the stack.  Right arm rest on the floor with the palm up.  The left arm can reach over the head to increase the stretch.  Close your eyes and allow your body to relax and release any stress or tension. Slowly sit up and switch sides for the same amount of time.
Focus on your breath.  Breath into your right side allowing that gentle stretch to travel from the tip of your fingers down your lower spine.  Sense the left side of your body gently melting and surrendering to the ground beneath you.  All tension and stress being recycled by mother earth.  Sense the gentle letting go of your muscles and knowing that you are safe and supported.  Breath deep and exhale soft and long.

Fish Pose



Props: blankets or bolster, depending upon the amount of opening you desire. Neck roll, eye pillow.
Benefits:stretches the chest wall muscles, releases tightness in the shoulders and low back. Starts to balance nervous system. 

Lay two blankets on top of each other or one bolster, add a blanket for sitting on when using the bolster. With bent legs, begin to lower yourself down on to the props while elongating the spine. Leg position can be bent as seen in photo or straight legs or even bound angle with soles of the feet together. Find a comfortable position for arms either by your side or in Goddess position. Adjust neck roll to blankets to support the cervical space.

Star Savasana
Props: 2 or more blankets, neck rolls, eye pillow
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, gentle chest opener,  releases the pelvis

Lay a blanket on  your mat for extra comfort and warmth, blankets for the arms as well.  As you lay down, place your feet towards the corners of your mat and arms about 10-12 inches from your body, palms up. Add your eye pillow, and blanket on top.  We adjusted the legs with our Double Dutch for optimal release of tension and proper alignment.


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Supported Forward Fold with Legs Extended (Paschimottasana)
Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities.  A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible.  Good for headaches.  Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed. Massage for the digestive system.
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