By Coach KB

(If you are new to the POINT Gym and Kitchen blog and want to learn what the Movement Minute Challenge is all about, check out the introductory post here.)

This week’s Movement Minute is inspired by the work of Judith Hanson Lasater, a PhD, PT, and one of BKS Iyengar’s first students (he is a super famous yoga instructor and founder of the Iyengar style of yoga). Immediately half of you will be super intrigued and half of you will want to stop reading at the sight of the word yoga. Just keep reading… it’ll only take a minute. ;)

Our culture is a conundrum to me… How can we be so fast-paced when we sit all the time? With stress, anxiety, and depression so prevalent in society our yoga practice should not be a place that fosters more of those feelings! Unfortunately it can be! We have even developed a type of yoga called “Power Vinyasa” (which don’t get me wrong, I love from time to time). Power Vinyasa is a constantly moving practice that requires a lot of strength - both things that can conjure up the same feelings we are trying to avoid - stress, anxiety, and depression. Judith is a proponent of Restorative Yoga, a type of yoga centered around resting in poses rather than pushing to “your edge” all the time, which is just another distraction for us. Restorative yoga manipulates the nervous system to send us into a more parasympathetic state. Judith says, “There is something spiritually profound about being still and watching your mind… Lying on the floor and letting go, every day for 20 minutes, is life-changing.”

This week, my Movement Minute challenge for you is to spend AT LEAST one minute (20 is better!) each day lying completely still. If you already know some Restorative poses, pick one to do. If you don’t, then just lie on your back with your arms palms-up by your sides and your feet splayed open. Your eyes can be open or closed. Don’t think; just breathe. If your mind starts wandering then you can time your minute by counting your breaths. If you breathe in deeply for 5 slow counts and out for 5 more, then one minute will be just six breaths. Try it anywhere - right when you wake up and are still in bed, behind your desk in your office at work, on your living room floor when you get home, in bed before you go to sleep… Or maybe each one throughout your day. It’s incredible that this might be the most challenging “movement” minute of them all!

*This Movement Minute was inspired by Episode 14 of the Liberated Body podcast.