In my January Publisher’s Note I said that my goal this year is to to improve my emotional health. I’m trying to be more patient and even-tempered. Finding peace and tranquility is difficult for me. Even my usual recreational activities – spinning, running and poker, though fun, are not inherently relaxing.
A good friend has been encouraging me for months to try restorative yoga. The thought of lying in a dark room amongst pillows, blankets and bolsters is, ironically, outside my comfort zone. So much so that when I signed up to go to a class at the place I regularly exercise, management presumed it was a mistake. I have a bit of a reputation for being “intense”.
Restorative yoga is an hour of quiet moments. You lie in various states of recline, holding stretches and regulating your breath. The yogi guides you through the languid movements and makes small adjustments. As ridiculous as it sounds, relaxing in the class was, at first, a challenge for me. I was very sweaty, coming from a particularly gruelling spin class. So I felt self conscious when the yogi had to touch me to help me with form. I was also really tight from spinning so the poses (meant to be restorative) made me feel less flexible than usual. All of which made me anxious. In turn, that caused me to worry that I was projecting negative energy and ruining the class for my friend and everyone else. Really.
I couldn’t lie still. So I opened my eyes and saw that, contrary to my fears, nobody was affected by my anxious aura. They all looked peaceful, radiating positivity. I decided that I had to try harder…or try less hard. I don’t know. I just lay there constructively. And eventually I got there. By the end of the class, when I kind of fell asleep in Shavasana, I finally did relax.
For those looking for their own positive yoga experience, I’m pleased to announce that OmT.O., the full day of free outdoor yoga at the historic Distillery District, is back! Save the date: Saturday, June 21, 2014. For more information, visit www.omto.ca.
In the meantime, sit back and relax (as best you can) with the rejuvenating and cleansing April issue of Tonic. Liz White shares three steps to attaining a balanced life (p.47). Bryce Wylde teams up with “Frankie Flowers” to talk about plants with curative qualities that you can grow in your garden (p 34). Joel Thuna and Claude Gallant will tell you how to rid sugar from your diet (p. 36) and Marni Wasserman wants to kickstart your spring cleanse (p.45). As always if you want to discuss Tonic please feel free to contact me at Jamie@tonictoronto.com.