A few sentences from a friend and then a reply:

I think many intellectuals have wrecked their brains/minds also. You should invent a ‘roller’ for the brain/mind and teach people how to relax that muscle.

I think that stage comes eventually as the body learns to relax and release. Part of the program is the stretching, lengthening, and massaging of tight, short muscles and creating better alignment of the joints. You could call that the hatha yoga. It is a mildly vigorous activity. But coming out of that kind of practice is also the ability to rest and relax, to overcome stress, agitation, worry, frenetic activity, restlessness. In terms of the autonomic nervous system you are moving away from sympathetic control towards the parasympathetic. If the ancient Indians (in India) knew more about our science of physiology, they likely would have expressed it this way. You are uncovering a natural capacity for rest, ease, and peacefulness (but perhaps have to dismantle something to get there).

On a very fundamental level, the level of autonomic nerves, our functioning is a pendulum swinging between activity and rest. There is a balance to be struck, but for many of us the pendulum is impeded in one direction or another. My interest is when it is impeded towards rest and relaxation. We call that being stressed. The symptoms are tension, aches, pains, agitation, restlessness, emotional upset, the feeling of being aroused, anxious, tired, or disturbed. We might be prone to sickness because eventually our immune system weakens and breaks down after periods of prolonged stress. We probably lose the awareness that there is a natural state of rest and relaxation to enjoy, we forget that the potential and the capacity for rest, relaxation and healing is also part of our make up. The demands of work, parenting, leading a responsible life take their toll and certainly make it difficult to find the time or the inclination for rest and relaxation. But it is the indulgence of that natural capacity (for rest and relaxation) that many of us need to experience in order to bring some balance back into our lives.

Previous Post


Next Post