Constructive Rest

By Marianne Salza

My spine lengthened as I laid on my back, wondering if others could hear my growling stomach. Constructive rest will take some time for me to master, but for 22-year-old Jill Lewis, the relaxation technique has been beneficial.

“It allows my body to rest, while being in a comfortable position and realigning itself,” says the dancer and athlete. “I have learned to relax my body and tune into it. I am now able to release any tension and let my body feel free.”

Jill practices the constructive rest technique. Photo: Marianne Salza

Focusing on release, relaxation and deep breathing, the exercise helps you become centered and present in the current time and place.

Constructive rest reduces gravity’s effect on the body and minimizes unnecessary muscle and joint exertion involved in habitual movement.

“The longer I let my body rest and relax my muscles, the better I feel, especially once I move to a standing position and continue on with my day,” Jill says. “It releases the tension I have in my joints.”

The technique will help you become in tune with your body — sometimes in a bizarre way — like what Jill and I experienced. When she rolled from her back to one side, Jill could “feel gravity working against” her body, as if her “organs all collapsed and sank to one side.”

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