The Need for Rest: The Embodiment of Spiritual Practices

In yoga, at the end of all the poses comes Savasana, Dead Man’s pose, where we lie flat on our backs, arms and legs gently splayed, eyes closed. Deep relaxation. From past years of listening to the Bikrim Yoga script, it has been drilled into my brain, “This is where your body reaps all the benefits of your hard work.”

Savasana is where the body assimilates all the exercise of limbs, the stretching of muscles, the bone to skin pressure that makes yoga the health miracle it is.  For your body to get it, to really absorb the practice, it must settle down for a moment to “catch up” to itself. To let the body register and catalogue the experience.

We too, in transformation, need rest. Lots of rest. Way more than you ever imagined!

Resting creates the context for the body to assimilate the lessons learned from any transformative experience.

The more present we all become, the less we can multi-task and function at warp speed. During my time at Oneness University, the ashram of Amma Bhagavan in southern India, the teachers explained that our brain is actually not really ever perceiving sensory input simultaneously. Rather, our brain processes each sense so rapidly, that we think we are getting a multi-sensory experience. In reality, our body is experiencing each sense like a spoke on a wheel, one pass at a time, and when you speed up the wheel, it looks like a solid mass and the space between the spokes visually disappear.

As we begin to allow ourselves to open up to more and more of our present reality and stay with the “what Is,” of our lives, our bodies slow down. Awakening, among many other things, is literally a waking up of the body, brain and flesh. Our entire bodies, brain, heart and all our systems, wake up by being able to contain more and more of our dynamic spiritual energy. We waste or leak less energy because our body container is stronger, fortified with consciousness.  There is less of a mind-body split; we become more “embodied.”

With this energy spread throughout our entire systems, we literally have less energy concentrated in the brain. We are less top-heavy, mental. Our whole body becomes a breathing, listening, experiencing organ, receiving input from all of our senses on all different levels.

Our bodies are enlivening with the energy around us. It becomes a conversation between our bodies and all around us. We become aware of the intelligence of plants, animals, even inanimate objects have energy that affects our powerful electromagnetic energy field.

Our heart, the largest generator of electricity in our body, produces two and a half watts with each pulse. Our heart creates a magnetic field that extends far past our physical bodies. Cyndi Dale, in Energetic Boundaries writes, “The most potent EMF generator, a loving heart, has the capacity to entrain coordinate all bodily functions and organs, as well as our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, creating optimum physical health. It ensures a heartbeat-to-heartbeat sharing of healing energy within ourselves and between us and others.”

When we slow down, we truly see the multitude of things occurring simultaneously on infinite levels. For example, there are the external world layers, the large animate beings we come into contact with, the more subtle energies of the plants, crystals, beloved objects, and even the minute physical experience of light patterns and room temperatures. Then there are the internal layers, how our bodies feel in every crevice, what thoughts move across our awareness, what feelings rise and fall.

Each moment is both simple and endlessly rich. Think of the complexity of myself, seeing a simple patch of sunlight play through my living room window. I notice the edges of the projected parallelogram frame, an area of my rug design. I see the rays streaming through the glass, gleaming on each leaf of the plant on the windowsill. I am curious to reach out to see if there is any warmth from those rays. I watch the minute dust particles float upwards. I contemplate, “Why do they move upwards?”

Are you still captivated by the “world” available in my sunlight experience? Sometimes, memories or desires will impact our experiences, like a patch of sunny grass in Golden Gate Park in January with a new lover after I first moved to California; or sunning my newborn baby in the filtered light on my rumpled bed after his emotional Bris, forty people outside the door eating bagels and lox. Evocative peak moments in sunlight and presence.

This is a lot and I haven’t even left my doorstep or interacted with another person! When we come into contact with other beings, it greatly impacts our mind-body-spirit with their own powerful energy system.

Rest is vital to function at this level of consciousness. A slowing down of day-to-day activities, mindful transitions, alone time to sink into life with a newly expanded consciousness. Rest is the healing balm of our willingness to heed the call of transformation.

The more internal alchemy you are going through to meet this expanded Heart-calling planet shift, will require more time in stillness and repose. It is a time of re-balancing the hyper-masculine, over-achieving, fast-passed outside world with the dynamically-opposite feminine quality of deep internal absorption, rest, hibernation, gestation. Honoring your body’s natural impulse to slow down will help bring the masculine-aspect of ourselves and culture back into a healthy, healed, available flexibility and holder of the natural feminine-aspect, creativity and expansion.

Body Meditation:
Deep listening and honoring your personal container of energy

Close your eyes and breathe.  Feel the sensations available to you in this now moment. Notice any thoughts or feelings. Deeply listen for your body’s wisdom to bubble up in the form of a desire to take care of some aspect of yourself. What do you need, right now? Healthy food? A cat nap? A stretch? Do you need more sleep or general “down time”? What would it take to commit to your body’s calling for integration-time? What changes in your life would have to take place? Are you willing to take your body’s needs seriously as a vital part of healing the planet, one embodied person at a time?

2017-11-29T03:33:22+00:00 April 17th, 2014|