In the practice of yoga, there is emphasis on the breath. One breath cycle is usually composed of four phases – inhalation / pause / exhalation / pause.
While all phases serve their purpose, I have always loved the pause. To me the pause is a special place, a fleeting few seconds where I have the luxury of not having to do anything, not having to go anywhere, not having to think about anything. In these few seconds, I can rest, I can pause, I can simply be.
When I come home from work, or if I feel like my head is spinning from information overload, again I like to pause.
I go into the lounge room, lie down on the floor and put my legs up on a cushioned chair. For extra inversion I like to put my lower back on a bolster, but this is optional. I allow my arms to fall naturally by the side, with palms facing up, in the pose of relaxation. I take a few big breaths out and simply let go – of the day, of worrisome thoughts, of excess information in my head. I close my eyes and just allow any thoughts to drift in and out of my consciousness, like clouds floating across the sky.
In yoga, this is known as supported Viparita Kirani and is known to reduce blood pressure, reduce heart rate, relieve headaches and soothe the nervous system. As the diaphragm doesn’t have to work against gravity, breathing naturally becomes deeper, which allows more oxygen to enter the body, creating more energy.
In this way, I reconnect with my self…..I restore my energy…..I pause.
Just like I enjoy my pause on a personal scale, I feel like we are being invited to pause on a collective scale also, at this time of the Covid pandemic.
This is an invitation to slow down, to rest, to go within, to reflect, on a global scale. If we accept this invitation, we have the potential to tap into the power of the pause – the power to reflect and question how we are living our lives and make any changes that we see fit; the power to restore; the power to simply be, with no expectations.
This is an invitation particularly to those of us who have always tended to do too much, to overachieve, to strive for perfection. This is an opportunity for us to realise that we don’t have to do it all, that it’s okay to rest.
The power of the pause reminds us of the importance of simply being. By being our true selves, this is enough.