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Lions Roar : May 2019
is close to the inner organs and tells each of them when to relax and quietly do their jobs. This is known as rest and digest. We need both of these systems to be toned so that our nervous system can be nimble and go fast or slow, depending on the need. Unfortunately, most of us are already hyped up to a certain degree. So, I offer some short, simple, and powerful practices below that will stimulate the rest and digest response. Think of this as toggling between the active require- ments of your life and the receptive moments that you choose—together they help you become more resilient through the gateway of your body. The number one thing to remember is to do them. Like all such practices, it might be boring at first and you don’t always feel results right away. Without results, it’s hard to have faith in the process and you can lose your motivation. This is where you just have to trust the practice and look to the wis- dom of great teachers. Like Gelek Rimpoche always said, “Drip, drip, drip, the bucket fills.” Being patient is also a way to practice self-caring. 5 SELF-CARING PRACTICES AS WITH ANY PRACTICE, begin by reviewing your motivation. This is a reminder that practice is not just about what you do, but also about how you do it, and that makes the difference. These practices help you touch into your capacity for caring and develop a sense of genuine closeness with yourself. Savasana In the yogic tradition, savasana is a way to let your body and mind rest at the end of a strong, active practice. Savasana is a Sanskrit word that means “corpse pose.” This practice is for letting go of our physical bodies. It is a good opportunity for generat- ing thoughts of gratitude for one’s precious life. Recently my ayurvedic doctor prescribed a daily savasana to me as a way to recover my energy after “Tend and befriend” sets the ground for you to engage in the practices of self-caring, which are all ways of getting familiar with the two aspects of your nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. When a stressful situation arises, the sympa- thetic nervous system, which is connected to the spine, will respond by telling you to move now, via the fight or flight instruction. This response sends blood to the muscles, speeds up the heart, and slows down other functions that are not needed for running or fighting, such as digestion. Conversely, the parasympathetic nervous system LION’S ROAR | MAY 2019 39