Commentary by Mindi Epstein
If you are like most people, you may be distracted by other thoughts as you read this article. Many of us have become so accustomed to juggling multiple balls and thoughts at the same time, that the familiar intensity of multi-tasking and multi-thinking feels normal. Maintaining this level of hyper-awareness keeps us poised and ready to react. It also wears us down. Day after day of living in preparation for fight or flight takes its toll, leading to physical and mental ailments we have come to accept as natural to the human condition.
Our breath is the bridge between the conscious and subconscious; between the busy-ness of the external world and the stillness of our inner selves. This is where healing and rejuvenation begin. Taking care of ourselves is an inside job. While we have learned that eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are critical to our health, restoring ourselves to a state of balance requires quieting the mind.
Practicing yoga guides us to a place of peace and restoration. Child’s Pose, for example, is a posture of self-care and innocence. We begin by kneeling on the ground, settling the torso between the thighs and resting the forehead on the earth so that our tender bellies and internal organs are protected by the shell of our spine and ribcage. Tension rolls off our backs. Our breath flows rhythmically, soothing our mind and willing it to rest. All is safe in this posture of repose.
Quieting the mind helps us gain clarity and a renewed sense of vigor. On an inhale we rise from Child’s Pose, lifting our head, relaxing our shoulders and allowing our heart to shine forth. As a familiar adage reminds us, it is the pause that refreshes. And so it does.
Mindi Epstein, ERYT-200, RYT-500, is the owner of Peace through Yoga in Zionsville, Speedway and Danville. She founded Main Street Yoga in Speedway prior to purchasing Peace through Yoga in Zionsville. A third studio in Danville was opened in May 2015.