What are you doing to relax today? If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s worth relaxing with a nice cup of tea and pondering about making time for self-care. The importance of relaxing, especially for reducing stress, is in the spotlight more than ever before. Mental health, overall wellbeing, maintaining good health are well-documented as a desired lifestyle for many of us. How about you?
"We can’t avoid stress or control our outer circumstances, but we can control how we meet them,” said Jeffrey Williams, longtime Esalen workshop facilitator and founder of Lifestyles of Light and Vitalist Institute.
“Being able to do that requires knowing yourself and being able to center back into that knowing so you can make the choice to respond in alignment with yourself, rather than react to what shows up each day. Life is more fulfilling when aligned with your authentic self!”
For National Relaxation Day — August 15th — we decided to ask some humans in the Esalen community and faculty how they relax. Their answers reminded us that there are so many ways to help ourselves. Be inspired: you might get some new, great ideas for finding ease.
“I immerse myself in nature — the wind, the waves, the sun, the stars, a dance — participating in the larger wholeness of this place we call home.”
“Meditation. As a Buddhist, the core of our practice is a chant, “Namu Myoho Renge Kyo”. This doesn’t only bring about relaxation, it also helps me to calm and center myself. It also fills my life with peace, vitality, joy and courage!”
“To be in the presence of the wonders of nature and feel embraced by its power and magic!”
“I find a patch of land, hopefully with a garden or remnants of what could have been a garden. I remove my shoes, walk, and breathe. The coolness of the grass or dirt on my feet immediately relaxes me. And if there’s a body of water nearby, even better!”
“I place my hand on my heart. This physical gesture of self-care releases oxytocin and immediately down-regulates my physiology.”
Next workshop: Good Morning, I Love You, October 15-17, 2021
“I go on lots of walks and always stop to smell the flowers.”
“To relax, I sit or lie down, deepen my breath, then move consciously through my body as it softens and releases all contraction and constriction in my tissue. This lets me create spaciousness and awareness in my being... in the here and now.”
Next workshop: Evolutionary Embodiment, August 20-22, 2021
“I take myself on little adventures hunting for bakeries and coffee shops in Big Sur, Monterey, or Carmel.”
“Lately, I’ve been drawing and coloring in my meditation practice. I also weave and play my sound bowl.”