Down the Rabbit Hole We Go

You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your computer screen, but not really seeing anything. You sigh, run your hand through your hair and lean back against your chair, dejectedly. Glancing down at your To Do list, you silently chastise yourself for not scratching off more than you have. Where has the day gone, you think, not for the first time.

You pick up your pen, click it twice, and put it back down, realizing this is 2018 and the work to get done is on your computer, not your notepad. So you sit up straight, position your hands neatly over your keyboard and tell your foggy mind to clear. Focus, you order. But almost right away the haziness intensifies and you find yourself right back in the clouds.

What should I make for dinner tonight? Mm, salmon would be good, with a little miso sauce—no, wait, maybe a balsamic onion glaze. Ah, I’m drooling already. I should look up a good recipe for that… Okay, never mind, what was I thinking? I’m no Martha Stewart. I could pick up sushi on the way home… Or maybe I should try that new poke place… What on earth was that restaurant Ali posted about on Instagram, her bowl looked so good. Hm… 

You reach for your phone, robotically, and then jump upon seeing the time. Minutes have spontaneously evaporated. You turn your gaze back to your computer where your neglected work stares back at you, accusingly.

With a solid 28 minutes left on the clock, you re-adjust your posture, sitting tall as if you were in yoga class. You roll your shoulders back, narrow your eyes, take a sip of that now-cold coffee, and think, I’ve got this. Then a reminder slides in on the top right of your screen “Restorative in 2 hours” it reads.

You pause. Oh yeah…Do I really want to go to that? I can just do restorative when I get home before I go to bed. That’ll be way easier. No commute required… Then again, do I really want to practice alone in my messy bedroom when I could be in the studio with an actual instructor…Okay, no. I’m going.

Decided, you pull your attention back to your screen. You sigh for the umpteenth time, frustrated with yourself for flittering away the past half hour when you should’ve been productive. Well, there’s only 20 minutes left now… May as well head to the washroom, pack up and go.

Stepping through the door you instantly feel yourself start to soften. By the time you’ve made it to the front desk of the studio, your shoulders have come down from that space beside your ears they’d been, unbeknownst to you, frozen in all day. Before you can offer up your name, Brittany smiles to you. She already knows.

“Hey! So I see you’re here for Restorative tonight. That’s great; you’re in for a treat. Be sure to let us know what you think afterward.”

“Oh, um, okay, sure.” You smile awkwardly and head up the stairs wondering, what am I about to walk into.

Opening the door to the studio you feel yourself melt all over again. It’s dark, lit only by candles that decorate the ends of each of your fellow yogis’ mats. You inhale deeply as you walk over to your favourite spot; it smells a little like cedar wood, mixed with lavender and…what is that? You shrug, just happy to have made it there. As you go to lie down you notice there are certain props laid out beside your mat. Maybe that’s what Brittany meant, you think. Maybe we’ll practice some different postures today? You notice the props are a few blankets, an eye pillow, and two bolsters. Hm…

A few minutes later, the teacher turns up the music that had been playing so softly you hadn’t noticed it over your gabbing thoughts. It’s different than normal, you note. It’s much more…fantastical.

“Good afternoon everyone,” Nora begins to say. “As you may have heard, we have a special treat for you today. Before going any further, I’m going to task you with getting yourself as comfortable as possible. Pull on a blanket, or two; pop a blanket/bolster under your head and/or feet; and if you’d like, put on an eye pillow.” She walks quietly around the room. “Good,” she purrs a moment later.

“So as I was saying, today is special. Instead of a regular Restorative session, we’re going to do something a little more creative. We won’t be focusing on our breath. Instead, we’re going to find deep rest and relaxation by embracing our inner child and escaping into a story. Throughout the class, all you have to do is lie there and listen—a heavy burden, I know. Now, as in a traditional Restorative class, every time you find your mind wandering, you’re going to simply bring it back to the words Brittany is saying, re-immersing yourself in the world being offered to you here tonight.”

A smile dances its way across your face as you realize this is exactly what your unfocused, monkey mind was crying out for back at the office.

The music heightens ever so slightly in volume, and Brittany opens her mouth to utter those ever-enchanting four words, “Once upon a time…”

Event details


April 7th!


Oh, sorry. 2:00 – 3:30 PM


Why, 889, of course!

(889 Yonge Street)


Click here! Then, scroll down to “Restorative + Storytelling with Nora Benian”

(or, you know, click command-f and find that).


See you there!!

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  1. Thanks Sarah, What about other DSM Disorders…? “2. There’s a bit of a trick to making conscious contact with the body of well being (restorative system). I can’t access this part of me by trying harder or forcing myself to feel something. The harder I try, the more my survival (stress) system revs up. The restorative (well-being) system turns on when I make a decision to let go and allow myself to be helped. I consciously shift my focus from trying to fix it to actively cultivating my capacity to trust and be cared for. This parallels the wisdom of many religions (and also Twelve Step programs). My personal belief is that this is not an accident, but more on that another time. Once you know this works, you”re Saved!