*This is a guest post authored by Toronto Yoga Conference faculty member, Hillary Faye*

Do nothing. Many people feel guilty about “doing nothing.” But by relaxing, you are honouring your body and relaxing your mind—and learning how to surrender to something bigger than yourself: Love. Through relaxation, you begin to unravel your inner resistance and release the desire to continue pushing and struggling against life. Life is happening for you not against you; and the more you relax into life, the more apparent this becomes.

Just relax, because only in relaxation will you realize what is hidden in you. – Osho

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One of my favourite ways to unravel my nervous system and experience the benefits of deep relaxation is through a Reiki Restorative practice. I believe it is a true remedy for the demands of today’s fast-paced world.

Restorative Yoga uses props, such as blankets, bolsters, and blocks, to help you melt into long holds in relaxing postures designed to relieve the effects of chronic stress in the body.

Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy, a holistic modality that also works on the nervous system. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing.

Reiki Restorative classes are gaining popularity as more people are yearning to slow down and go within. In yoga, we are not seeking to create a life with no stress; but rather, we are seeking to balance the stress response so we can show up more fully in all aspects of our lives. Reiki Restorative offers a spiritual vacation from the constant human doing by allowing each of us to be a human being.

There is an old story that provides an example. Imagine falling into a river but you manage to grasp an overhanging branch. As you tightly hold on to the branch, you are beaten up by the current. But if you let go of the branch and allow yourself to move into the flow of the current, you will be brought where you are meant to be. In other words, the more relaxed you are, the easier it is to open to the flow of Universal Life Force Energy (Reiki) that is ever present.

The secret to spiritual success is relaxation. – Matt Kahn

When you spend too much time in the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight response), you can feel that you are wound too tightly, moving too quickly, and not enjoying life. But when you deeply relax and connect to your breath, you access the benefits of the parasympathetic nervous system, where your body naturally recovers and rejuvenates.

If you take time to re-calibrate your nervous system by relaxing into the parasympathetic mode, suddenly you feel as though you have time to appreciate every aspect of life: the air is fresher, colours seem brighter and more vivid, music is more delightful.

The deeper your breath and the more relaxed you become, the deeper your experience of life becomes. Here is a practice to help you move toward becoming relaxed.

Guided Reiki Relaxation:

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Lay down on the floor or on your bed with a pillow under your head and one under your knees. Get really comfortable and begin long deep breathing through the nose. Don’t worry about thoughts, allow them to be as they float on by like clouds on a windy day.

Expand the navel as you inhale and allow it to glide down towards your spine as you exhale, count six deep breaths at a time. Place your hands on your body wherever you feel called to. Begin to imagine a waterfall of Universal Life Force Energy flowing into the crown of your head, down your neck, shoulders, arms and out your hands into your body. Staying present, begin to soften into each breath.

Imagine you are like a stick of butter, melting on a warm skillet, every cell sinking deeper and deeper into complete comfort. Relax your eyebrows and your jaw. Keep counting six breaths at a time, feeling the Universal Life Force Energy flowing into your crown and moving all the way down towards your hands, with each inhale you fill with Reiki, with each exhale you surrender to love and relax into knowing all is well. Stay as long as you like.

 

 


 

Want to learn more about the power of relaxation? Hillary Faye is our first faculty presenter ever to offer Level 1 Reiki Training at the conference and an all day training on how to combine Reiki and Restorative Yoga elements together to incorporate in your own personal or teaching practice. Hillary will also be offering a Kundalini Dance Party, Bandhas Immersion and a Heart Centred Yoga workshop with Darren Austin Hall at the Yoga Conference. 

Register for Hillary’s classes on her faculty page or RSVP to her classes on her Facebook event page.