Our culture has evolved into one that expects us to be on the go or available 24/7/365.
When I was little, a day of rest each week was still expected to be the norm. In fact, shops didn't open not only on a Sunday but they also closed on a Wednesday afternoon. A day of rest has been part of all cultures for thousands of years until relatively recently.
Now we are expected to be switched on, plugged in, striving, or working all.of.the.time. This is not a natural way of being and our bodies can feel it.
Our nervous systems are on overload. They are activated much of the time and with that, our whole system is often out of balance. The cascade of this is that our immune, muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems, along with our mental heath, are under so much strain.
We need to find a way to switch our nervous systems into rest, digest and repair. This is where relaxation comes in. To deactivate our stressed every day fight or flight responses we need two things, safety and an opportunity to discharge the activation.
This can be through hypoarousal or hyperarousal; HYPOarousal being gentle practices such as gentle yoga, sound healing, sitting meditation, tai chi, etc and HYPERarousal being methods that activate your system such as dancing, active meditation, shaking, running, and so on.
Ronald Fischer proposes it this way, “…the farther one moves in either direction, (hypoarousal or hypersrousal), the closer to transformation one gets, with the end point of both being the same: an experience described as the oneness or coherent unity of the universe.” Both ways of engaging in movement can ultimately lead to the same state: deep relaxation. That sense of timelessness when we engage in an activity that we love. Crucially, the more we do what we love, the more our systems learn to relax as soon as we start to do it, so regular practise is hugely beneficial.
This can be movement of all kinds, or painting, reading, eating good food, being with friends you trust and are comfortable with, and doing these on a regular basis. Anything to take you out of the tick tick tick mind and drops you into the here and now. Movement allows the charge built up to be released allowing all of our body systems to come back into alignment. Moving in a group amplifies this by providing a shared experience and by building a community. Social interaction and building community ties are almost as important to our wellbeing as the movements in the class are!
We have this beautiful space in the heart of Hereford and at the core of it is our wish for everyone to find their plug into whatever you need to access deep relaxation. Come and explore with us and find out what that means for you. We might have a culture that wants a piece of us 24/7/365 but let’s take back our health and wellbeing and say NO. This couple of hours each week is MINE.
Once you allow yourself that, it is liberating.