Heather Stegmaier, M.AmSAT

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« My Story | Beyond Pain Relief: Discovering a Unique and Special Practice | Main

Give it a rest! Slow down your crazy, busy day by trying this “activity”

Busy lives and crazy days don’t give us much time for rest. On the one hand, leading a crazy, busy life can be a good thing! Some may say it means that you are leading a full life. However, over a long period of time, your busy life and crazy days can lead to chronic tension, pain, stress, and fatigue.

The Alexander Technique offers a lovely solution to being stressed out and tired. It is also a great way to start to relieve chronic pain. It’s called Conscious Rest and will only take a few minutes out of your crazy, busy day.

Try it right now:

  • Grab a yoga mat and lay down on your back with a book or two under your head
  • Place your feet on the mat so your knees are bent

That’s it! Well….not quite…

Once you get into this position your body is resting, but I bet you anything your mind is still very active. And if you dig a bit deeper, your body is still probably holding on to a lot of layers of tension that you don’t even realize. (For example, you may be clenching your jaw really tight).

Take 5 minutes to quiet the mind while you rest your body.

Use this time to say NO. This means…

…say NO to all the mental chatter, worries, and to-do lists crowding your mind. Ask for quiet.

…say NO to holding your breath. Allow your breath to flow naturally without interference.

…say NO to clenching your jaw. Release your jaw and tongue—just let them go.

…say NO to narrowing and tightening your back. Allow your back to lengthen.

This practice of resting your body while quieting your mind works wonders. The hardest part is taking time out of our crazy, busy day to do it!

Try it now for five minutes and leave a comment below on any changes you noticed.

I can’t wait to hear from you! 


Cause you're the only one that has control of what you need/and there's no sense in the way you worry all your life/so how you gonna grow if you don't know you're draggin' you down?/you'll waste the rest of your days if you worry all your life

from the song "Worry All Your Life" by Sera Cahoone, 2012

Reader Comments (4)

While practicing Conscious Rest, I felt my muscles relax and my breath deepen. One statement I said to myself was, "I say NO to distractions. I allow my mind to rest." Immediately, I felt a sense of relief. Ahh...

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Cabral

That's wonderful, Amy! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

June 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterHeather Stegmaier

I tried the Conscious Rest while my 10 month old daughter was taking her nap because I didn't have the time to take a nap myself! I could feel all the tension my body was holding as I lay down and tried to focus on completely relaxing and allowing myself the five minutes. After a few minutes I started to feel the tension and tightness in my body melt away and was able to quiet my thoughts and slip into relaxation. Taking this short quiet rest,I feel much more relaxed and recharged and ready to take on the rest of my day!

Sarah, thank you for sharing your experience! It's so important for busy moms to take time for themselves. Good work!...I mean, Good rest! :)

June 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterHeather Stegmaier

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