She stared at the stars like they were pillows for her mind and in their light she could rest her weary head.C. Poindexter
It seems like the election was weeks ago — the news cycle since has been relentless. It is exhausting. Taking a little time out to rest and reset is not quitting. It helps us to find the resources to carry on.
I was at a restorative yoga training this weekend and we discussed how our fight, flight, and freeze trauma can be held in our hips. And that sometimes when we move into a hip-opening yoga pose the hip release comes with tears.
It makes sense. When our sympathetic nervous system is triggered our heart and breath rate increases as more oxygen is sent to our major muscles. Our hip flexors become engaged in an innate response that readies us to sprint, kick, or stabilize our bodies. It’s not surprising that our tear response is connected to our sympathetic nervous system, too. An increase in sympathetic nervous system activity can precede crying — and the release of tears has been seen to bring on parasympathetic activity (a return to rest and digest mode). Unfortunately, these same stress responses can be triggered by headlines and held inside our bodies creating tension.
The Three Graces are attendant Goddesses encompassing all that is good in the world. They run the bath for Aphrodite, they sing and dance at the birth of Apollo, and they adorn Pandora with necklaces to lift her spirits. At their Festival they serve the attendees sweet cake.
Here are three restorative practices inspired by The Graces to release the weight of held stress and negativity, and create space for faith, hope, and charity.
- Cry it Out: If you feel you have been holding back tears for ages consider revisiting a movie that has brought you to tears before and watch it for an endorphin release. Here are some suggestions from Women’s Health.
- Wash it Away: Prepare a bath for yourself with bath salts and/or essential oils for a ritual soak and cleanse. Keep the room warm and when you are finished stay in the bath imagining the stress and negativity going down the drain.
- Release: Come to rest in child’s pose (detailed above) for 10 minutes. When you are finished stretch and rise dancing to some uplifting music – Diamonds by Rhianna comes to mind.