Sometimes relaxation is relaxing. Other times relaxation is just relaxing. For everyone the difference may be subtle, but there is a difference. For me relaxing is a yin yoga class. Or a good book and a glass of wine in the garden. Time out from a madly busy week. It can even be a wild weekend with friends in Edinburgh; non stop busyness; just not work busyness. But then there are times when it is a little different. It may be a skiing holiday, or the beach in Koh Samui. It is also, for me, likely to be time well spent at a friends place in the countryside. The peacefulness, the quiet, the laughter, the drinks, and of course the Scottish banter.

Its very personal

When I think about what I find relaxing it usually involves yoga. But that is a central part of my life in Edinburgh and so it isn’t the ‘take me away from it all’ kind of relaxing. So a drive (or a plane if I am feeling a bit flush), to a place I know I am welcome in is an immediate calmer in life. It is a personal thing and everyone is different, but I feel just as relaxed heading off to the West coast of Scotland to friends as I do to the top most part of Scotland…as I also do to Thailand. Common denominator? Friends and time away the day to day normality.

Time away

This time it was West. Second time this year and planned as a result of enjoying friends’ company and a good mate hosting us the last time. I am also very lucky in that said mate has a gorgeous place in the midst of nowhere on the West Coast. Cows, swallows, butterflies (current Scottish 1 in 10 year phenomenon of bloody millions of them), dogs, cats and general country animals all add to the feeling of getting away for the weekend. Clearly wine was involved as was good weather (thank you Scotland I promise I will stop moaning about the heat) and good food.

Bliss. Just like a good shavasana at the end of a serene yoga class, getting away from the city and spending time with friends is good for the soul. No expectations. No demands. This meant that I had time to read my book, time to watch a movie (I fell asleep), time to have a walk on the beach, time to soak up the local culture (gala days and fairs), time to enjoy a coffee, soak up the sun and time to just be at a slower pace.

Affect / Effect

Whichever way you look at it, from a health or emotional perspective, time away from the hum drum of normality is good for you. Sitting back at home feeling a little knackered from the drive back to Edinburgh I am still feeling relaxed. I have a few pages left of the bloody brilliant book I am reading (‘A Fire Sparkling’ by Julianne MacLean). I am going to finish it tonight to end the long weekend and to keep the relaxation feeling going a little longer.

Tomorrow I will get ready to be busy again. A different type of relaxation on my fortnight leave from work. I will quicken the pace, get back in the Edinburgh zone and get ready to enjoy the Edinburgh festival. The fringe is an amazing time in Edinburgh and I plan to do loads. Just not tonight. I am still enjoying the effects of my relaxation with friends in the West Coast. Tomorrow will have a different effect and a different affect. A different style of relaxation.

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