Are fitness and relaxation interconnected?
Recently, I returned home exhausted from a full day of shopping and running errands. After unloading my purchases and slipping into something more comfortable, I dropped to the floor. I could have chosen a soft and more inviting location to rest, like the couch or easy chair, but something enticed me to linger where I was.
The floor has drawn me close before. I’ve sat on living room carpet while visiting with friends, and many of my asanas are executed horizontally on a yoga mat. And even though I haven’t recently unrolled my yellow floor pallet, I can quickly retrieve it from the corner of the hall closet where it’s stored.
But my contact with the floor on that day was different. There was nothing between me and my cherry-stained oak wood planks. While lying there grounded on my back, something amazing happened. A deep sigh of relief escaped my lips, as I felt my spine relax and adjust vertebra by vertebra — from the cervical region all the way down to my coccyx. In this supine position, I permitted my body to sink deeper and deeper into a meditative state until I melted into the floor. Then, as if being gently tugged at each end by an imaginary pulley, I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d as far as my muscles would allow.
I can’t say that I was comfortable reclining on such a hard surface, but the floor seemed to extract the stress from various parts of my body each time I exhaled. After about ten minutes, I slowly returned to my vertical position feeling refreshed and energized.
“At night, lying on your back and staring at the falling snow, it's easy to imagine oneself soaring through the stars.” ― Craig Thompson
Research shows that lying on the floor for extended periods of time can be beneficial.
Even sleeping on the floor has advantages. Some of the health benefits include:
• Reduces back pain
• Helps to correct posture
• Can provide quality rest
• Helps to align vertebrae, pelvis and shoulders
Also, the pressure of the floor on body parts can be compared to a massage or shiatsu session.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”—John Lubbock
Are you feeling sapped?
Fitness and relaxation are interconnected. When you get knocked off your feet from exhaustion, stay where you are! Lie on the floor, stretch, breathe and replenish your energy. Don’t keep going nonstop until you drop like I did. Sprawl on the floor any time you need a lift. Getting grounded for brief periods of time during the day works well for me. Perform a rest test to determine if reclining on the floor is right for you. And if the hard surface of the floor is uncomfortable, use a yoga mat.
A few words of caution…
Getting up from the floor requires the coordination of all major muscle groups. So if you’ve sustained an injury or have a musculoskeletal disorder, think twice before attempting floor activities. Also, if you haven’t stretched out on the floor in years, be sure someone is around to help you safely get down and back up.
Do you enjoy spending time in nature? Rebound on the ground. Recharge your body, mind and spirit by lying on the grass or in the sand. Expanding your experience outdoors can soothe your senses and help you gain a fresh perspective, while gazing up at the verdant trees and azure sky.
Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to include relaxation into your busy schedule.
• Begin by trying the grounding technique described in this post — lie on the floor and breathe.
• How will including relaxation in your busy schedule help to reduce stress and improve the quality of your life?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.
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In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,
T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Certified Holistic Health Coach
When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.