Our theme for April is Soothe. One of the many opportunities our yoga practice offers is to tune into our experience. Over time, we can start to listen to the language of the body. It’s subtle and not so subtle messages. It is hard when what we find is painful and uncomfortable. Our human response is to avoid it. Our desire to change it, push it away can be strong. Of course it is.
We can begin to explore the size, shape and sensations of what we find. This is not to magically change the experience to a positive one. The intention is not to aim for an experience. It is building strength and courage to allow this discomfort and hold it. Can we hold it for a few moments and ease it in some way?
We can find ways to soothe through movement. Try adding a rocking movement to your practice.
We can alleviate tension. Try self massage. The hands, face, feet. See if you can notice where you need a little more of your attention.
We can use sound as we breathe. Try gently humming on the exhale. Can you notice the vibrations easing around the throat, jaw, face?
We can talk to ourselves in ways that are supportive and wise. How do you speak to people you care about when they are having a tough time?
Explore what it is like to support your head. Try supporting the back of your head and forehead. You could also lie on your front. Use any props that can support your head. Maybe placing your head onto the back of your hands, or using a book or pillow.
Then Find a variation of child's pose. Try using a pillow wrapped in a towel, like a bolster. Can you ease into it a little bit more?
Soothe can feel unfamiliar and even unpleasant. We can learn to understand our response to it. Know that we did not choose this and at the same time remain curious. We can find practices that work for each of us. Sometimes soothing can be finding one slower, smoother breath.