“When we give and take in an easy foundational way we are closest to the authentic self, and closest to that self when we are most rested. To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.”
Most of you have heard me preach either in public classes or in these newsletters about self-care being not self-indulgent, but rather a vital condition for effectively serving in the world. So rather than belaboring that point, I thought I might share one of my favorite rituals for calming my nervous system and preparing my body/mind for deep, restful sleep. I set up a “viparita karani station” next to my bed, meaning that I position a bolster fairly close to a wall, and then I put a drop of therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil on the sole of each foot. I swing my legs up the wall so that my pelvis and lower lumber spine are supported by the bolster, and just to make it extra delux, I snug a belt around my mid thighs so that my leg muscles can fully relax. I usually stay in that pose for about twenty minutes, or until I sense that the staleness in my legs has drained and my heart rate and breath rate have slowed. And even if I only manage to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep after that because my 2 year-old daughter gets up early, I still wake up feeling amazingly refreshed.
If you are curious about the effectiveness of essential oils or interested in learning more strategies for sleeping well, then you should definitely check out this weekend’s workshops. On Saturday, January 28 from 1:30-3:00pm, the lovely Katherine Jilbert and Young Living Essential Oils Expert, Brie Lopez, will present an experiential look into how the combination of yoga and essential oils can enhance your well-being. Then on Sunday, January 29 from 1:00-3:00pm, the venerable Tamarin Hennebury will be teaching a highly informative workshop on the myriad techniques in the yoga tradition for promoting sound sleep.