I often tell classes when I have them in a rest period, to drop all tension from the previous exercise. What happens after a tough pose or movement is that the mind wants to stay ready, so the student’s body stays tense in anticipation of another tough exercise.
In kundalini yoga kriyas there are calculated rest periods. This is by design. The word kriya means “completed action.” Just like in science where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, a kriya is a set of exercises, including relaxation periods, when done as prescribed creates an effect that’s more than just the sum of the exercises that are done. It has an overall effect.
When you’ve finished something– an action, a job, an exercise, whatever, then you should drop everything associated with it and become neutral. There’s a time for action and a time for rest. The applies to everything in life. The mind is, in part, infinite and we often carry around much more than we need, anticipating the next tough thing in our lives. Carrying that tension around all the time is quite a burden.
The main thing to remember is that when you’re in the world, you’re in duality– a world of opposites. Everything has a complement and as in Newton’s third law, “Each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
In our fast paced, information filled world, the tendency is to try to keep up with the illusion of time, which seems to be speeding up. The truth is that going fast is fine but slowing down when something is done, also has its place and creates a much needed balance.
I remember going and going on caffeine and energy drinks until I was so stressed out that I had to blow off some steam by going out drinking and all that came with that. I look back on this as insane, but as we used to say at West Point, it seemed like the thing to do at the time. When you overload on stimulants, you blow out the glandular system, particularly the adrenal glands. There’s a whole list of things that this does to the body, none of them good. If you’re in the habit of following that with alcohol, which is a depressant, then you destroy the self-sensory system, which is the human’s link to real power.
Get in the habit of going all out and giving your best at what you do, but when each action is done, then learn to and make a habit of relaxing powerfully until the next thing comes and in this way you use all your god given energy to the fullest.