Saturday, September 24, 2005

Energy Shortage

The news media are reporting that Houston, Texas has avoided the horrible devastation that was experienced by the victims of Hurricane Katrina. People are turning their cars around and heading back home.

But emergency management officials, all the way from the President of the United States down to the Mayor, are asking people to stay away. "Don't come back," they're saying. Please wait.

Although electricity is out in much of the city, roads are passable. Pleople are concerned about their property. They want to get back home. Why are they being told to stay away?

Because there's no gasoline. There's not enough energy to meet the needs of the entire city, if everyone returned now.

What should you do when you're low on energy? Restorative yoga.

If you're feeling dull or listless, I recommend you quiet your practice place, gather around you a pile of firm blankets and other props, and settle in for at least an hour of supported restful postures.

Restorative yoga poses are typically performed lying down using props to support your body in various positions. The poses are held, unlike more vigorous poses, for a long period of time, usually from around 2 minutes to 10 minutes.

Whenever you can, I recommend practing restorative poses with an eye pillow over your eyes and a blanket thrown over you, to keep you warm. Your body temperature drops when you rest quietly on the floor for a while.

Nearly every yoga class I've participated in at least alludes to the need for a restorative yoga practice. How? By finishing the class with the relaxation pose, savasana.

I remember discovering early in my studies how incredibly refreshing it was to lie down and relax before going home from my yoga classes.

I was also suprised to learn that I could lie down and get the benefits of restorative yoga any time. When we worked hard in class and our energy and focus were less than optimal, my first yoga teacher would ask us to lie down and be perfectly still for just a couple minutes. Then we would get up and continue with class, with all the energy and attention we needed.

I don't know where Houston will get its gas. But if you need more energy, lie down and practice restorative yoga.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., You've got to be still to benefit from restorative yoga. If you're just learning yoga, go to class and get some practice at lying still in the final relaxation pose, savasansa. This tip is for all of you. If you can't seem to settle down for a restorative practice, get up and do something active. Warm up. Do some sun salutes. Then settle in for some still, sweet restoration.

p.p.s., The classic book on restorative yoga was written by Judith Lasater years ago. I recommend it. It's called Relax and Renew. Follow her instructions on the set of poses she lays out and you'll be recharged.

p.p.p.s., Restorative yoga is prop-intensive. BKS Iyengar is the originator of using props to help with asana practice. His book, Yoga: the Path to Wholistic Health is beautiful and unmatched in 360-degree photography and tips for restorative poses.

p.p.p.p.s., Congratulations to Pierette Bentivegna of Jefferson City, MO for being the first to respond to my offer of a free WristFix report. I'll be sending her a free copy of "Be Wrist Pain Free in Four Weeks" and the Chinese exercise ring that goes with it. You can find out more at

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


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