It was warm in our little courtyard garden. The cat and dog were both asleep, stretched out in the sun on the wooden bench.
I took two flat pillows and laid them beneath the shade of the fig tree on the ground, curling up foetus-style. I laid my head on my arms and felt my whole body relaxing down.
It felt so good. I let my mind drift as my breath slowed and everything began to soften down.
I'm not quite sure how long I lay there.
The sun moved across the sky and the breeze blew softly. Bees buzzed in the scented jasmine growing up our garden wall. Swifts called above my head as they danced and darted through the air for insects.
"This is exactly what I need." I heard myself think. The quiet and the stillness, the comforting, nurturing embrace of being in nature. The edges of my body and boundaries of my mind began to blur and melt into my surroundings, until I didn't know what was me, and what wasn't.
I could feel the energy of the earth beneath me gently recharging my energy. Subtle vibrations and pulses of energy, renewing, restoring and healing.
Have you ever felt that before?
Several Indian gurus prescribe sleeping on the ground to heal and restore the body. Maybe I did this instinctively I'm not sure. Its just where I wanted to be and where I wanted to rest.
Too often we ignore our need to rest and relax don't we? Too busy to stop and close our eyes, too much going on to allow ourselves space and time to just be.
This is of course, counter productive. The more we busy ourselves and "power through" the more tired and ill we become, putting up with headaches, stomach issues, and general fatigue. Popping painkillers and antacid tablets and ignoring the signs of a body stressed, depleted and run down.
After years of getting up regularly at 3 am working as a make up artist, I learned to try and ignore my body shouting at me to rest and stop. I told myself that I was ok, and to just keep going. Until one day my body shouted so loudly it forced me to stop.
Not so now. I no longer ignore what my body his telling me. I listen attentively and actively tune-in. I sit quietly and close my eyes and rest my hands on my belly. "Are you ok?", I ask.
I believe we are all born with an innate wisdom; a mind-body connection, that allows us to be perfectly in tune with what our bodies need. Unfortunately with time, bad diet and hectic living we can so easily lose this vital connection, this skill of listening in.
That's where the yoga comes in.
Yoga gives us that opportunity to tune in and attend to what's needed. It gives us an actual space for paying attention and tending to ourselves. Its as important as flossing your teeth or eating healthily. It is the ultimate holistic self care practice.
So next time you find yourself run down and depleted, take some time to listen and tune in. Rest your head on the ground my friend and breathe deep.
There is nothing more important than taking care of the beautiful person that you are: Mind, body and soul.
Sending you so much love,