Constructive Rest is ACTIVE stopping from the PASSIVE continuation of habitual doing

There are so many important advantages to be gained from lying in the semi-supine position. Some are:

    • the spine is fully supported, so pressure points are relieved and extreme curves can ease out and straighten
    • muscles are able to release tension and lengthen into their natural tone and structure
    • refraining from habitual contracting means myofascial tissue can soften out of old patterning and stress lines
    • the intervertebral discs have a chance to ‘plump’ up creating more space in the spine (making you taller!) and providing greater protection from injury in activity
    • discs and joints, both healthy and damaged, can decompress thereby relieving the impact of repetitive use and providing the opportunity for regeneration and healing
    • the nervous system quietens down, in tune with the firm external support and the balanced internal support
    • when horizontal there is less downward gravitational pull on the lungs, so breathing is easier
  • resting in semi-supine, whether for 5 or 20 minutes, restores, calms and refreshes you for whatever’s next…
Berlin, Germany
While walking in the park, I saw this man taking some time out from sightseeing. He arranged his bag under his head and lay down with his knees pointing to the sky, his arms gently folded across his body and back fully supported along the flat rock. Before he closed his eyes, I asked him whether I could photograph him and he gladly accepted. “Am I going to be famous?” he asked, ‘For resting?’

What makes it Constructive Rest?  The short answer is YOU! Your presence, your attention, your intelligence.

We each have our own tension and collapse patterns. Constructive rest offers a way to live outside of our habitual reactive modes of using the body in our busy, speeded-up times and our compensatory efforts to deal with stress.

As noted above, the semi-supine position itself is beneficial for the body-mind, primarily as it is a neutral position.  This allows the body to respond by gently and slowly letting go of tensions that would otherwise keep it bound to the effects of repetitive actions and unconscious tendencies. 

You can enhance this by being conscious of your experience. Let your awareness of your body and its support grow, direct your attention to various parts of your body and encourage the softening, lengthening and widening of each. Let your breathing expand your lungs to your sides and your back. Connect with your senses; be in touch with your whole self.

Let me know how your Constructive Rest practice is going and whether you would like further guidance in how best to be in the semi-supine position and/or ways to consciously and constructively in-form your body-mind in resting.

© Cheryl Herbert