In a room full of people, I hear a snore slip from someone's lips as I feel the first meanderings of a stream of drool seeping from the corner of my mouth. My first thought is, “Is that really me with a wet cheek?” Then I decide it doesn’t really matter, and off I go back into a relaxed trance again.
As a Restorative teacher, I’ve noticed that a common occurrence through the practice of slow yoga is drooling, and/or snoring due to the relaxed state of the body AND mind. Since the asanas and poses are held for an extended period of time, the physical bodies have a chance to drop into that state by relaxing the nervous system and thus taking some well-deserved chill-out time.
This process wouldn't be quite the same without the help of props. The positioning and timing of the right prop makes all the difference when you're going to be lying in one spot for a long period of time. Where my practice and teaching of yoga is stillness and ease, there I find a deepened sense of awareness in what I like to call "in-between" moments. While the physical being is held in a form of suspension, the mind and neurological relays in the body have a chance to reset; I liken it to the process of defragmenting a computer hard-drive. Computers that operate for long periods of time filling with programs, data, and information, eventually bog down, slow down, and break down. Taking time and diligence to format and sort through all of that clutter promotes a healthy and happily functioning computer. You are no different.
Mindful practices, such as meditation and yoga, offer individuals a “decluttering of the mind”. One often ponders, "What does it feel like to be held, rather than do the holding?" or "Since I’m going to be here for a while, what would it look like to slip to the edge of my pose, then come back just a little?"
In a world where there is pressure to 'do', what does it feel like to just 'be'?
Discovering the right propage makes all the difference or, should I say, the right use of a prop makes all the difference. Heck, a well folded blanket can be origami-ed (new age word for folding) into a million different props to support the body. This offering of support is such a profound activity in a lifestyle that many individuals live to BE the support in their own lives and the lives of others. So props to the props people. The next time you're in a yoga class and stand in awe looking at a wall of blocks, blankets and bolsters, grab one (or a bunch) and get cozy. Feel among the privileged few that can lie in a side-reclined-twist on a bolster and feel the oh-so-wonderful release of a drool bubble escaping your lips. You've arrived baby, de-stress, degauss, defragment that beautiful mind of yours. Rest firmly in the knowledge that when it's time to switch to the other side and feel supported there, it’s completely dry and ready to support you all over again.