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Constructive rest simply involves lying on the floor for an extended period of time. Usually between 10-20 minutes.
You can use a yoga mat, a head cushion or book and you can play a relaxation CD if desired.
What is the point?
The exercise enables the body to relax completely and comfortably, and begin to replenish itself.
It enables you to become consciously aware of your energy level.
How often do you truly relax? Do you consciously, deliberately let go of held tension in the muscles and joints, in the spine?
Shoulders, hips, elbows and knees are normally very tense in most people.
The habit of tension is so ingrained that you are completely unaware of it; believing yourself relaxed despite being far from it.
How tense are you?
Probably very tense. Muscular tension burns energy and tires the body. Your inability to feel the tension does not mean that you are free of tension.
It means that you are insensitive to the tension.
Modern life saps energy. People are often exhausted, unhappy, frustrated... They are frequently emotionally, physically and psychologically unbalanced.
Feeling drained is commonplace. Getting angry is normal. This is not a healthy way to live...
Many people are so uncomfortable in the absence of noise that they will leave
the television on even when no one is watching.
I have passed people on lonely mountain paths carrying radios that were blasting out rock music. They like the scenery but fear the silence.
We are overwhelmed by noise pollution which keeps us from being able to relax and which wreaks havoc on our nervous system.
Unable to stop
When you perform constructive rest it may feel challenging at first. Your mind is racing. You want to do things.
See? This is the problem. Resting is unfamiliar to you. You do not value it.
People often feel wiped out after lying on the floor. How come? The exercise involved no exertion, no effort.
The truth is simple: you are wiped out. Constructive rest has simply proven this to you.
Too busy to rest
A lot of people are sceptical of rest. They claim to have no time. This is another matter entirely. People all have the same number of hours in the day.
What you choose to do with those hours is your concern.
Lifestyle issues are often caused by a failure to see what is right in front of you. The truth can be unpalatable or inconvenient.
For example: people who suffer from fatigue usually begin by over-committing their time, being unrealistic about their capabilities, failing to rest, being poorly organised, unwilling to say No, not working on themselves...
The failure to listen to the body can lead directly to medical problems. Over-using the body can lead to joint damage.
Not resting can produce fatigue; which over time develops into a more serious condition.
Invest in yourself
Constructive rest is not lazy. You are giving your body time to recover. When you get up off the floor you may feel tired and want to do things more slowly.
This is good.
If you cannot sleep, perform constructive rest for half an hour, and then go to bed.
If you want to build a ship,
don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
18 April 2005
Last updated 17 September 2019