I shared this quote a while ago in my Facebook Group Seeking Slow and it seemed to resonate with lots of you…”Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb
I therefore thought it would be useful to unpick this concept a little more, and a good starting point is learning to recognise how we physically hold tension in our body.
We need to understand the difference between tension and relaxation and understand how to navigate from one to the other.
Lots of us walk about holding tension in our body without even realising it. Sometimes tension becomes so habitual that we always ‘hold’ our body that way, it then feels completely normal to us. It’s only when we give our bodies the space and time to deeply relax that we can realise what released feels like. And by comparison, we can know what tension is. They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum and in some ways one allows the other.
More and more there is a shift towards conscious consumerism.
It’s important what we surround ourselves with; the things we choose to have in our homes, the clothes we choose to wear, the products we choose to put on our bodies, and the food we choose to eat. Not just our personal choices but the choices we make for our children and families too.
Not just because these choices impact the planet (which is obviously super important) but they impact our health, wellbeing and lifestyle too.
Slow living can ripple through every aspects of your lifestyle. Not only can it change how you choose to spend your time but which brands you are happy to support as well.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a slow living event to celebrate all things slow lived. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend a peaceful few days escaping from the normal day-to-day and I also had the privilege of leading a session at the event too.
The event was run by Weeknd:In, who are all about helping independent brands grow their audience in an authentic way by using the power of social media and influencers.
When Olivia invited me to teach a yoga session and talk about slow living a little, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to have some interesting conversations about all things slow. As you all know slow living and making time for those wholehearted moments is fundamental to my and our way of life as a family, and I am always happy to share how we manage to slow things down, the things that work and the things that don’t.
When I make it onto my yoga mat, it’s an opportunity for me to connect to myself. Firstly through, my breath… with every inhale, and exhale I feel myself arrive… my body, mind and spirit join together. Sometimes it can be the first time that day, that I am truly present in the moment.
Recently my body has been feeling pretty tired, so naturally I have wanted to do a gentle practice; a few postures, and a bit of stretching to get my body moving and work out any creases. A lot of pranayama (breath work) and always a little mediation and relaxation at the end.
There is something hypnotising about the summer that encourages a slower pace. I have written about it before, that particularly during the warmer months people noticeably have a strong desire to slow down.
Traditionally it’s when people go on holiday, which automatically invites a different rhythm from the rest of the year.
Bound by school terms for a large portion of childhood, maybe it’s ingrained in us from an early age, that the summer is the time to kick back and play. As adults with children, the free summer months still represent later starts and no school runs.
Perhaps also the warmer weather invites a slower lifestyle. Heat can definitely make you feel lethargic, after all the tradition of siestas became commonplace to help people avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.