A typical day for me used to include a 4:30am wake-up call, a mix of work, study, and general life commitments for the next 12-14 hours and then bedtime around 10pm. If an opportunity to "rest my eyes" arose, I would try and take advantage. Come Friday night, my energy level was completely depleted. Over the last several months I have made a concerted effort for more self-care and inquiry which includes consolidating my work schedule, working 1-1 in a yoga mentorship program, music, art and more.
And while all of this has helped me see life through a new lens, the greatest change I have made is taking rest.
In May of this year, I was back home in Wisconsin for a long weekend. There wasn't much on the agenda one afternoon so I made my way to the south facing deck and lied down. The sun was warm, the air was calm. I remember sprawling out in a savasana like pose. I stayed there for nearly 20 minutes, taking rest. This was my a-ha moment.
There is a difference between taking rest and napping. Napping puts one into a light sleep, where awareness of self and surroundings may disappear. Taking rest is an opportunity for the physical body to relax while bringing the nervous system back into balance while being aware of sensations, thoughts, and breath. It is like a brief pause, before returning to the normal stresses of our life.
We can all stand to take more rest.