Restorative Evenings


I’ve been thinking about how little consideration is given to sustaining ourselves in this mad rush towards saving the world. And by sustaining ourselves, I mean taking time out daily to slow down, get quiet, and replenish the fuel. Restorative activities can take many forms, could be a seaside walk, a bubble bath, cross country skiing, a dinner with friends, yoga, an outing with family, meditation, a day at the spa. I’m sure you have a list of your own.

I was feeling really stretched on Thursday. I have eighteen assignments due between now and the first week in April. Plus, ironically, work is flowing in the door like it hasn’t in years. So I have a lot of balls in the air. But, there was a workshop at UBC on Thursday evening that I was interested in; it was put on by the dedicated and fabulous Student Support Network in my department and included a presentation on artistic and aesthetic-based research methods. Thursday night is usually my yoga night, so I was torn. In the end, I decided to go to part of the workshop and planned to duck out early to get to yoga.

When I arrived, there was only a very small crew, with a whole lot of sushi. So in the end, a handful of us students and a couple of professors, sat around a kitchen table eating sushi and talking about alternative ways of presenting research, how to create collaborative presentations, and what it’s like to defend a thesis. We topped it off with a Sundae making session, choosing from a scrumptious array of flavours and toppings. As we scooped and slurped, someone began theorizing about ice cream. It was the most delicious workshop I have ever attended, on so many levels.

Later, lying on the mat, I felt so nourished. Fortunately, restorative yoga is basically lying on the floor under blankets for an hour and a half, so my cool belly full of ice cream wasn’t an issue. Also, I recalled that Ayurvedic medicine recommends cool foods (like ice cream) to cool the flames of stress in the body. It was a restorative evening indeed.

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