People practice yoga for a variety of reasons. Many yoga practitioners are interested in the health benefits that come from regularly performing the routines. Others want a state of harmony between inner and outer self. Still others practice yoga primarily to relax.
A State of Harmony
The profound relaxation available through yoga includes a state of clarity of mind, and of harmony with and understanding of the world. If such a state of relaxation is your goal, you will need to use most of the yoga techniques available. Pay special attention to breathing, diet, correctly performing the exercises, and meditating.
The deep, prolonged breath one learns through yoga helps the brain stay oxygenated, which contributes to mental clarity. Diet influences the structure of our body as well as our brain. The exercises (called asanas and pranayamas) were developed thousands of years ago to produce beneficial results.
To have the desired effects, yoga routines must be carried out correctly. Poor yoga practices will likely produce disappointing results.
Your attitude and your focus are the keys to making your yoga experience deeply satisfying. Entering the profound stage of relaxation and synchronization between your inner and your outer self can occur only with appropriate action.
Relaxation is actually a necessary part of every yoga routine. The body needs to relax after practicing the exercises, especially the more demanding ones. Certain asanas require an unusual positioning of the body, which can result in discomfort if the relaxation stage is omitted.
Yoga connects the spiritual and material worlds, and relaxation is the bridge that brings the practitioner back fully to the present reality.
As a general rule, during relaxation exercises, you will lie down comfortably and meditate. Your yoga trainer will suggest ways for you to gradually move and position your feet and arms. Yoga routines may have different relaxation exercises, but they all have the purpose of cushioning the shock of contact with the surrounding reality. Relaxation also helps to maintain a certain degree of peacefulness created by the routine.
But talk is never enough. The only way to be sure of the relaxation benefits of yoga is to try it yourself. The only thing you have to lose is your tension.
Yoga Techniques: The Basics for Relaxation
Yoga has been practiced by people since time immemorial. According to several researches, the practice originated from the Hindu philosophy, hence it carries on itself a Sanskrit name which means “union”. Following that philosophy, yoga maintains a single purpose of finding a sense of unity through divine ways. And, in order to attain that purpose, people practicing yoga should do some techniques that can give them better health and wellbeing.
There are a number of techniques involved in yoga. These yoga techniques, however, share the same purpose of making all the organs in the body function as effective as they should be. The yoga techniques are performed involving several movements which may demand the joints, hands, neck, knee joints, and lower limbs to work.
On the yoga techniques, the so-called “Lotus Position” is the most basic. This technique is performed with you sitting on the floor. Once you’ve sat down, place your right foot on your left thigh and your left foot right on your right thigh. Just make sure that both of your knees are on the floor and the bottoms of your feet are facing upward. Don’t bend your spine, instead keep it straight.
The Lotus Position doesn’t just end there. To properly perform such yoga technique, you should also position your hands. Well, there are three ways to do this. First, you need to hold both of your hands with your palms facing side up. Place one of your hands on top of the other and rest them both on the heels of your feet. Second, while sitting on a lotus position, keep your palms down and rest them on top of your knees. Finally, keep your hands on top of your knees with your palms facing up. Move your thumbs and your index fingers up and meet each end forming a circle. Just keep the other fingers straight outward.
There is also another notable technique in yoga which is said to be great for relaxation. The practitioners of yoga call it the alternate nostril breathing. Well, as the name implies, this step is one of the yoga techniques that involve breathing. The breathing, however, is done through the nostril one at a time.
When practicing the alternate nostril breathing, you need to use the little finger and the thumb of your right hand. The right thumb should be utilized for closing the right nostril off. Keep the remaining fingers at the center of your eyebrows and inhale slowly and totally through the open nostril. It is also important in this technique that you hold your breath as long as you can. Nevertheless, if you can’t hold your breath to the longest time possible, take off your thumb on your right nostril and use your little finger to cover the other nostril. Exhale completely through the open nostril.
According to the practitioners of yoga, people who are willing to practice the yoga techniques should start doing those above mentioned techniques every day. Those yoga techniques are after all great for relaxation. Aside from that, the yoga techniques mentioned above are capable of giving you not only proper breathing but a calm mind as well.
Go ahead and Relax-Yoga’s way
If you go to the zoo or tune your TV to the Discovery channel, an observance of nature will show us that animals love relaxation and sleep. They often relax and get as much sleep as they want.
Rest and sleep are essential to recharge our nervous energy as our physical, emotional and mental balance depends on the quantity and quality of these vital necessities.
With the stress of our daily jobs, traffic while commuting to and from these jobs, schools, studies, parenting etc having a relaxation technique to fall back on will be indispensable for any and everyone.
Thanks to Yoga, such a technique is well within reach. It is known friends as the Corpse or Relaxation Pose.
It mostly involves lying motionless while applying a combination of deep square breathing and mental suggestions.
This following pose/exercise will show you how.
-Lay motionless on your back with the arms and legs slightly extended.
-Start off by breathing deeply in counts of 5 that being in a ratio of 5:5:5
-After a few minutes of this, begin to make what is defined as auto suggestions
to the limbs starting from the toes by mentally affirming that “My toes are hereby relaxed, My feet are hereby relaxed” etc…working upwards to the head and internally through the internal organs.
-After several minutes of this, resume the deep square breathing for about 2-3 minutes.
-Next, begin to mentally chant this Yogic quote: “I am that pure consciousness or self” (You may substitute this with a verse from the books of your religious faith for example: “Those who wait upon God shall renew their strength” or any energizing quote for that matter like a simple “I am being relaxed and energized at this moment…”
-Continue mentally affirming this phrase for several minutes, then roll over to your right side and remain motionless while all the while maintaining the 5:5:5 breathing schedule for an additional minute.
-Finally, arise from the position.
Personally, I employ the use of a timed metronome or the steady tick of a nearby wall clock to keep time and sequence. Moreover, I often practice spurts of this technique during my yoga session and a full 15 minutes afterwards. At the office, I sometimes just sit back in the chair and apply the deep breathing and autosuggestions mostly with my eyes closed.
However, one truth remains, whenever one needs to relax, this simple Yogic technique does offer a safe and effective means of attaining this.
I always tell people: “Hey if it is said God took a break on the 7th day after making the world, who are we as humans not to take time out to rest?”
That said, empower yourself with the knowledge of this technique offered by Yoga whenever you need time to just relax.
Learn Yoga’s Relaxation Technique: A long lost art for rejuvenation
We all know that one of the necessary things needed to keep an automobile in good condition is cooling the engine when it gets hot.
Well the same principle applies to the human body. When the body and mind are constantly overworked, their efficiency in performing their duties diminishes. Modern social life, food, work and even play make it difficult for the modern man to use a proper relaxation technique for rejuvenation.
An observance of nature will show us that animals love relaxation and sleep. They get as much sleep as they want. Rest and sleep are essential to recharge our nervous energy
as our physical, emotional and mental balance depends on the quantity and quality of these vital necessities. They are the only things that recharge these batteries and allow for the proper elimination of metabolic wastes.
But just how can one learn a proper relaxation technique?
Only the corpse pose offered to us in Yoga can aid modern man to recapture the art of relaxation. In order to achieve this, three methods are used by the yogis. The three methods are known as physical, mental and spiritual relaxation.
Physical Relaxation Technique: We all know that every action is the result of thought originated in the mind consciously or subconsciously. When we want to perform an act, the thought is generated in the mind, is transmitted to the brain and simultaneously, the brain telegraphs the message through the nerves, and the muscles contract. Therefore as we can send messages to make the muscles contract, we can send messages to make them relax.
This relaxation technique is known as autosuggestion. Commence autosuggestions from the toes upwards while the suggestion passes through the muscles and reaches up to the eyes and ears at the top. This is performed by saying mentally to yourself: “My toes are hereby relaxed; my ankles are hereby relaxed…”
Mental Relaxation Technique: During mental tension one should breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes and concentrate on breathing. Slowly the mind will become calm and one is able to feel a kind of floating sensation.
Spiritual Relaxation Technique: However one tries to relax the mind, one cannot completely remove all tensions and worries from it unless one goes to spiritual relaxation.
This is in itself is a slightly demanding but very rewarding practice.
Yogis know that unless man can withdraw himself from the body idea and separate himself from the ego consciousness, there is no way of obtaining complete relaxation. So from mental relaxation, he withdraws himself and identifies himself with the all pervading, all powerful, all peaceful and joyful self, because all the source of power, knowledge are in the soul and not the body. Man can only free himself from the clutches of evil emotions by asserting his true self by stating mentally: “I am that pure consciousness or self” This identification with the self completes the process of relaxation.
The method to be applied here is to breathe deeply and squarely in a ratio of 5:5:5 seconds while mentally chanting the mantra above. As you will observe it goes hand-in-hand with mental relaxation after the physical auto suggestions are completed.
To get the most of this practice, you should practice this after your poses, before going to sleep or even during a break or recess at work or school, or right at your desk.
I always tell people: “Hey if it is said God took a break on the 7th day after making the world, who are we as humans not to take time out to relax?” So to recharge your energy and restore you physical, mental and emotional balance and strength, apply the methods above to learn how to relax the proper way.
Prenatal Yoga Teaches Breathing & Relaxation Exercises For Expectant Mothers
Prenatal yoga is an exercise that is designed to promote breathing exercises, posture and emotional relaxation. This approach is often sought by pregnant women who are preparing for a natural childbirth or who wish to stay physically and emotionally healthy during their pregnancy. One of the many benefits of prenatal yoga is the lack of physical exertion that is required, which makes it a safe practice for many moms-to-be.
During the pain that is associated with a natural childbirth, prenatal yoga will attempt to promote proper breathing that will help to make the process an easier one. In addition, relaxation is essential during the childbirth process and although it can be difficult, prenatal yoga can help to teach women how to relax themselves as much as possible.
For some, prenatal yoga may be sought as part of a spiritual process that helps them to connect with their unborn child and/or prepare for the new arrival. In some cases, prenatal yoga may even be beneficial after the birth as it instills techniques that are associated with relaxation. As every new mom knows, there is a definite need for relaxation after having a child.
For some, prenatal yoga may help women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly than others. For most, this is a struggle that takes a lot of patience and determination. In general, yoga is an exercise that promotes physical fitness, relaxation, breathing, spiritual and emotional connections, etc.
If you are searching for a prenatal yoga class or instructor, the best place to start is through your physician. During your next visit, ask the doctor if prenatal yoga would be safe for you and, if so, who you could contact for instruction. Most physicians are aware of any local classes or instruction being given and will often be able to refer patients to a class that is most convenient for them.
Most women prefer that the father of their child or a friend or family member attend prenatal yoga classes for support and guidance. Having someone familiar will also make the classes more enjoyable and relaxing for the mom-to-be. Before enrolling in prenatal yoga, it’s best to make sure that the instructor is licensed, certified or highly trained and experienced in teaching this type of relaxation method.
The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding prenatal yoga must consult their physician for further information.
I am passionate about yoga and this is my blog. I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 5. Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways and I love being able to share that with others. My hope is that through this blog, I can help people learn more about yoga, connect with other yogis, and find inspiration to live a healthier, happier life.