Did that sentence hurt your eyes? Your brain?
Was it hard to make sense of it? Did you not bother?
That’s what life is like without pauses. Its hard. It often is overwhelming, tiring.
We know that pauses are helpful.
We have pauses in between words.
We have punctuation to help us make sense of what we read.
We instinctively know that we should take a breath before speaking at times.
We have breaks at work for morning or afternoon tea for a brain and body break.
We love taking holidays to get away from our regular routines to reset and get out of our regular patterns……
Pauses are really, really helpful.
I love using pauses in my yoga practice for the same reasons.
Its good for my brain and my nervous system.
I use pauses in a number of ways....
Pauses between movements are like the pauses between words. It can help our body differentiate different movements and to orient ourselves. It increases our interoception – that ability to feel inside our bodies.
Interoception uses the pathway of the vagus nerve, as well as other neural pathways to relay signals from the body to brain regions including the brain stem, thalamus, insular cortex, somatosensory cortices, and anterior cingulate cortices.
The purpose of interoception is to create and maintain homeodynamic balance in the system.
When we have greater interoceptive awareness, we also then have a greater sense of self – and this means we can also understand our needs, desires and ultimately a greater sense of identity, meaning and purpose.
Poorly developed Interoceptive awareness has been shown to be associated with a range of challenges to our mental health including; anxiety, depression, anorexia, bulimia, PTSD, OCS, chronic pain, negative emotions, poor emotional regulation, poor decision making and addiction.
Pausing during an asana practice as my teacher often says is an important as the pose. We can allow the physical sensations of the body, especially if we have practised an asymmetrical movement to bubble up and be noticed.
In addition to pauses between movement, I also use pauses between breaths in my yoga practice.
Breath pauses are not the same as holding the breath.
Pauses should feel easeful, my teacher describes them like that moment when you are shaking a sheet in the air and it lingers before floating back down again – that kind of pause.
Pausing at different phases of the breath can produce different results.
Pausing at the end of the inhale can increase our energy and alertness.
Pausing at the end of the exhale can increase our parasympathetic nervous system response and increase feelings of relaxation, calm and safety.
Pauses are also useful in life.
I usually pause my teaching practices in school holidays – so I can spend time with my children, but also so I can reset and plan.
Next week Thursday September 23 is the last week of classes for this term. I will then be pausing for a few weeks from my work and yoga teaching. I’m going away to the Flinders ranges with a friend, and then celebrating my twins 18th birthday - pausing to celebrate life, friendship, milestones.
Yoga will return for term 4 on Thursday October 14.
The evening term will be a 6 week term only – and then I intend to give myself a longer pause before I work out what and if I will teach in 2022.
The 6 week term will be $75.
Casual attendance will return to $17 (there has been a special this term of $13 due to the lockdown possibilities). In the event of a term 4 lockdown the classes will go online, or onto my deck at home if possible.
I hope you can find a moment to enjoy a pause in your day.