Latham Thomas’ Advice for Reinvigorating Your Practice: Active Rest

Every September, National Yoga Month inspires us to get on our mats and reminds us of the magic inherent in the mind-body connection. But for many practitioners, COVID-era livestream classes have run their course.

We can all admit there are times when we feel like the last thing we want to do is look at a computer screen. If Zoom and pandemic fatigue have all but dulled your senses, Brooklyn-based Latham Thomas, founder of the maternity lifestyle brand Mama Glow, and author of Own Your Glow, suggests an alternate pathway to reinvigorate your practice. “This moment presents an opportunity to lean into the limbs of yoga and focus on philosophy more than physicality,” she says. Collectively, we’re restless, anxious, even sluggish; full of uncertainty about the future. Plus, she adds, “a lot of people are bored with their practice and say that it’s just not as fulfilling.” But there’s a silver lining to coronavirus lockdown, according to Thomas: By slowing down and leaning into unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings, we tune in to what it is we really need in order to thrive. This “reprogramming” can help us reignite our inner spark and reclaim our lost yoga glow. “Your emotional body wants to rest—so how can you practice active rest?” she asks. “How much space can you make for yourself? What would it feel like to center your needs—not your physical needs, but your psychic needs? Use that as a compass for wisdom. Reclaiming your yoga glow is about expanding your capacity to receive.”

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Everything we would normally do to anchor ourselves in times of stress, anxiety, or tension—like gathering in our yoga classes, embracing our friends and families, and being in proximity to other living, breathing, bodies—has been missing from our lives for months. “There’s collective mourning—a weight, a heaviness connected to everyone, we are all feeling the effects of the same set of circumstances, but in different ways all at the same time,” she says. “We’ve been cooped up inside—but we’ve also had to deal with what’s happening in the world around us—and we’re not getting the community lift that we’re used to.”

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