Constructive Rest is a position that comes from the Alexander Technique. With the amount of time that we spend sitting at a computer, it is perfect to undo our current lifestyles. The passive position allows gravity to undo the forward head posture and rounded shoulders. While the bent knees help reduce pressure on the lower back by placing the psoas in a shorten state.
Personally, I think Constructive Rest is a great position to be for a meditation. When I'm in a lotus pose, I end up focusing my attention on my tight hips or staying upright. By being supported by the ground, it becomes easier to tap into a meditative state. Plus, I am working on my posture getting more benefits for my time. Win!
Constructive Rest is very similar to a supported Savasana that you can find in yoga, particularly in Restorative Yoga. Jillian Pransky is one of the most well known Restorative Yoga instructors who has has long touted the benefits holding supported poses for 20 minutes or more. Holding a pose for a long time can be a challenge, as we struggle with stillness. Ideally, it shouldn't be physically uncomfortable, by using props to reinforce the shape of the body. Then there is the mental portion of being stationary. Breathing techniques and meditation can help. Ultimately, the rewards are massive for our mental and physical self.
Usually when we think of stretching and lengthening muscles, we think of an active stretch where you can feel your muscle. This actives the mechanoreceptors in the tendons and muscle belly to resist the stretch. With a passive stretch that is found in Constructive Rest, the muscles shouldn't feel a stretch. This teaches the muscles that they don't always have to be contracted. They learn that they don't always have to contract, which can create a great change in the body.
Learn how to do get into Constructive Rest in just a few minutes. You'll notice that my voice changes as I get into the position.
Read about other ways to reduce stress.
Kate Hamm combines her 15+ years of experience in the fitness industry and high-end resort program development into sought after wellness adventures at AnamBliss. Visit www.anambliss.com for future retreat dates and locations.