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    Bit to Do

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    This originally appeared in the 2019 Best of Louisville issue of Louisville Magazine.

    When was the last time somebody told you to relax the muscles in your mouth? Or to relax your hands? Or your brain? At the monthly yoga nidra classes at Supreme Peace Yoga in the Beechmont neighborhood, instructor Hillary Washington guides participants through every muscle in the body, giving them permission to let go of any tension they’re carrying. It’s one of the few times — in my life, anyway — that relaxation is the only priority.

    Yoga nidra is a form of meditation, usually done lying down and involving a mental scan of the body and some sort of guided visualization. At the beginning of class, Washington tells every person to make sure they’re comfortable. Some settle into a cocoon of blankets, blocks and bolsters; some rest on their mat with a pillow under head. Lying there for 45 minutes is hard. Some people fall asleep. I struggle not to get carried away by some anxious train of thought or to-do list. Washington gently signals the mentally hyperactive people like me to stay present. At the end, an assortment of herbal teas gets passed around, and Washington brings out hot water for everyone. People share things that popped into mind during the meditation, and some use the remaining time for journaling before going back out into the real world.

    I’m not really sure this is the goal, but I’ve had several nuggets of wisdom come to mind during class — the kind that I write on a piece of paper and keep on my desk to remind myself of, over and over again. One kind of weird one: If I’m feeling stressed, I unstick my tongue from the roof of my mouth — which has an immediate tension-melting effect on the rest of my body. If you decide to try this, you’re welcome.

    This originally appeared in the 2019 Best of Louisville issue of Louisville Magazine. Read more.

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    About Amy Talbott

    Piscean. INFJ. Cat person. Runner. Mediocre housekeeper. Excellent cook. Scours the sleaze on Craigslist so you don't have to.

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