I’ve started going to restorative yoga classes once a week. These classes are basically like naptime, but stretchier. Our teacher’s primary instruction is to “get as comfortable as you can in each pose,” and she teaches us how to use cushions, yoga blocks, blankets, and straps to do just that.
We were in the middle of a gentle twist last night when she said, “If your knee isn’t touching the ground, put a block under it. When your body is supported, it can relax.” She went on to explain that when your shoulder, arm, knee, or anything other body part is just hanging out there, your muscles tighten in order to hold it in place. Sometimes that’s a good thing, like when you’re trying to build muscle. But when you’re trying to just chill out, well, not so much.
So there I was, laying on my mat on the floor of my local community center, my limbs resting on a variety of cushions, when I thought about the truth of what my teacher had said.
“When your body is supported, it can relax.”
One could say the same about almost anything, including parenthood. When parents are supported, they can relax.
You can read the rest of this post over on my Mindful Parenting blog on PsychCentral.com.