Here Comes the Sun!
Ahead: Bunnies, chocolate, rainbows, baby animals, greenery, flowers, sun… what’s not to like?!
Does anyone else breathe a complete sigh of relief when we hit April? It’s just a light-feeling month. Hopeful. Happy. It’s the first month where we can start to feel and see that summer really is coming down the pipeline. And that is a powerful perspective shifter. We can finally, fully see the light at the end of our New England winter tunnel.
Okay, it’s not exactly warm… yet. Yes, we might still see snow (I said might!) and beach days are still a long way off. But we see you breaking out your Birkenstocks and driving with the windows down! It’s almost nice. And it’s amazing how our feelings about the NOW shift when we get excited about the future. The unbearable becomes bearable. Even better, it becomes exciting. Like a flower in the last dark moments before it blooms.
April is dipped in Hope. The wisdom of the old grade school saying, ”April showers bring May flowers” really never gets old. It reminds us that this too shall pass. That winter becomes Spring. The sun will come out tomorrow. Our struggles become our beauty.
How have you set yourself up to blossom this season?
April is Stress Awareness Month
This is why we do what we do! Physical fitness notwithstanding, we all know – and have experienced – the mental health benefits of moving our bodies. I think it’s safe to say that’s why we keep coming back to our workouts and our physical practices. Because they FEEL good. Most of us can literally notice the difference in our stress levels and our sleep on days we move versus don’t. Exercise is just that powerful. So if you’re stressed, do not skip it.
We love when students tell us they come to Balance to “stay sane,” or throw over their shoulder how grounded or relaxed or different they feel on the way out of our doors. Physical and mental health go hand in hand (hence the word “wellness”), which is why we are always cultivating offerings to soothe and restore your mind and energy alongside your body.
Luckily, Balance is built to help you to move your body in lots of different ways. Couldn’t be more our thing. Keeping things fresh and offering variety is our constant mission!
This month, we wanted to highlight two unique practices for stress reduction connected to one of our April workshops. For a deep dive into stress release, do not miss Amy DiLillo and Kate Krumsiek’s Spring Clean Tense Tissue workshop on April 14th. Experience the relief of tension and stress through ball rolling and Yoga Nidra. A combination of two very different, but powerful practices you may not be familiar with.
Once you’ve had an intro to ball rolling, it’s an easy practice to do on your own. You can get yoga balls (we sell them!) or, in a pinch, use tennis balls. As you roll out the tension in your overworked muscles, your overworked mind receives signals to relax as well.
We actually internalize stress and big emotions on a cellular level – and that stress can stay trapped in your tissues if it’s not worked out. Holding it in your body can lead to injuries, pain and adrenal burnout. Through the pressure of the balls rolling along your muscles and tissue underneath your body (either on your back or forearms), this stuck energy is therapeutically released as the tissues are simultaneously hydrated.
Yoga Nidra, also called “psychic sleep” or “yogic sleep,” is a meditative yoga practice that literally rewires the brain through progressively shifting our brain waves. Guided meditations progress you through deep and then deeper states of relaxation. Through shifting your awareness from breath, to sensations in the body to visualization or thought, the body relaxes or “sleeps” while the mind stays inwardly alert.
Before beginning Yoga Nidra, your brain is in its usual active state. Eventually the meditation takes you into the brain wave frequency that links the conscious and the unconscious minds. Mental/emotional balance and mindful focus are the result.
The mind changes as the body changes. One listens to and informs the other, and vice versa. Over and over again. So make sure you are caring for both.
Benefits to the Crown Chakra
Spring cleaning your brain whether through Yoga Nidra, meditation or another practice is wonderful self-care for your crown chakra. Keeping your crown open at all times is key to our mental health! This is the energy center of our brain. When it is blocked or out of balance, we feel cut off from the meaning and intention behind everything we are doing. We feel lost and disconnected from our intuition, which then causes stress and anxiety, which then blocks things up further.
Clearing out your crown chakra leads to better sleep, clearer intuition and calmer decision making. It also allows us to dream – not just literally (which it does), but figuratively. It is the space where we think BIG. Where we imagine and begin to manifest.
Scalp massaging, deep breathing in and out through your “soft spot”, visualizing white light freely moving through and around your head. Loading up on clear quartz. Any type of sound or vibrational healing (a rumbling commuter train will even do if you close your eyes and receive it mindfully). All ways to strengthen and balance your crown chakra.
It is the space where we hold everything that could be – all the unknown – in a state of hope.
Lighten Up and Venture Out
Be like the weather, soft and light. April is a time of sweet waiting. Waiting to spring forward like the clocks. Waiting to be let out of the gate and feel the sun on our faces, drop the heavy coats and sweaters, hike, walk, swim, golf… to enjoy. To embrace the break in the clouds, always needed after a season of getting through.
When we can shift our perspective and look to the future with a clear head, our whole reality changes. And lucky for us, our perspective is one of the very few things on Earth under our full control.
Embrace and enjoy the beautiful anticipation of all that is about to bloom. We can’t wait to see everyone coming through our doors in tank tops and sandals, vibing on sufficient levels of Vitamin D.
And if the warm weather doesn’t lighten your load, just let us know. We are always here to help you relax…