As a person who does not rest well, I have spent the past 10 years searching for ways to rest better. My permanent exhaustion led me to seek out the paths of yoga, sound and aromatherapy.
Here are some things that worked for me.
Yin Yoga, in its technical sense, is a passive yoga practice. Practitioners hold each pose between 1-5 minutes with the intention of stressing or compressing our connective tissues. The discipline of the practice is more mental than physical, as the poses are generally simple and modifications are available, be it with a physical adjustment or using a prop.
Once you get past the physical idea of the pose, the mental aspects come to play: can you find some quiet in your mind during the practice, while staying in a relaxed state of consciousness without falling asleep?
Why Yin Yoga works:
Paul Grilley, one of the forefathers of Yin Yoga, created yin sequences with aims that are inspired by fundamental concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. The long held stretches of a yin yoga posture can relieve tightness and increase flexibility by releasing any blockages in the body's myofascia, improving the suppleness of the connective tissue. Coupled with deep breathing exercises, the practice can be calming to the nervous system.
Another style of yoga that helped me greatly is restorative yoga. Click here to read more about this yin style yoga practice.
Lavender is one of the most famous and common scents people recommend to aid rest. Some other popular calming scents include camomile and geranium. If florals are not your cup of tea, find a citrus or woodsy scent that you like. Lemon and frankincense are also popular choices.
Why Aromatherapy works:
Scents have the ability to bypass the rational mind and trigger the limbic system, also known as our emotional centers. Think about the feelings that arise when we smell clean laundry or freshly baked bread... It simply triggers a certain reflexive emotion or reaction. Pure grade essential oils also contain components that are scientifically shown to help calm the body down.
One of the most curious things happened to me when I played the Tibetan singing bowls. I noticed my hyperactive mind syncing with the low hum and vibrations of the bowl. That was when I realised how effective this simple instrument was in helping me find some stillness.
Why Sound Meditation works:
One of the reasons why we cannot rest is because our minds are too busy, so even though we may be able to sleep, we may not necessarily get quality rest. Sound vibrations from overtone producing instruments like the singing bowls and the gongs help to slow the brain waves down to a slower Alpha or Theta state where you prime the body for rest.
These are the three elements that we combine into our signature Sound Creation Gong Training based in Singapore. Contact us to be updated on the next available workshops!