Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation
Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation – Relaxation is one of the five main principles of Yoga and is as vital as the other four. When practised properly, the effects are very rewarding. There are three areas to concentrate on to become completely relaxed; physical relaxation, mental relaxation and spiritual relaxation. All of these states are obtainable and very beneficial for a healthier, happier mind, body and spirit.
Many people have forgotten the importance of relaxing; it is natures way of recharging the body’s batteries. Watching T.V. or reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of tea or hot chocolate maybe even listening to music, these are ways to relax physically but what about the mind? Is it racing with thoughts darting in and out? When the mind is restless the body is unable to ease, free your thoughts to quiet the mind. Are you spiritually at ease? Like the mind, if your thoughts are unsettled or ugly, the body cannot obtain complete peace. To be truly relaxed you need to have the ability to practice all three areas.
Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation – Here are a few tips on how to practice better relaxation.
Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation – Physical relaxation: This exercise is known as the corpse pose. Lie on your back, steady your breathing, make it regular, slow and deep. Imagine, if you can, a wave of relaxation starting off in the toes, imagine they are warm and heavy. Allow this feeling to spread up slowly and throughout the feet, ankles, the shins and into the knees. Let the sensation sink deep into the skin and further still into the bones. Allow the feeling to continue up into the thighs, hips waist and stomach, the lower half of your body should be feeling totally relaxed and heavy, this is good. Continue to spread this wave of relaxation up, around and throughout the upper part of the body, slowly, concentrating on your breathing, focusing on the body parts you want to relax.
You may find that by the time you have reached your arms, there is a sense of peaceful numbness in your lower half, this is what you want. Now allow your thoughts to concentrate on your right hand and arm, moving slowly up and across the shoulders into the left hand and arm, feel the tingling in your fingers as they rest. Focus on the tension flowing away from your body as you continue to slowly and deeply, feel the warmth travel into your neck, your face, the back and finally onto the top of your head. Feel your body as it lies safely on the ground. When you have finished you will not find any tension; you will be completely relaxed.
Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation – Mental relaxation: It is almost impossible to relax if your mental state is unstable or uneasy. The mind can become overloaded because of a variety of stimulants.
The mind , when troubled or worried, can cause physical fatigue. When we worry we use a lot of energy, but it is not the kind of energy that results in relaxation, it is an energy that drains us, often leading to tension which uses more energy than physical work. It is important each day to set aside a little time to release tension, to allow the mind to unwind. In times of mental stress, try to concentrate on your breathing, breath slowly and rhythmically just for several minutes, this breathing method will require conscious effort, but enable you to home in on your thought patterns to calm your busy mind, leading to an inner peace which coincides with the physical relaxation.
Benefits of Yoga and Relaxation – Spiritual relaxation: When I mention spiritual relaxation, I am referring to the inner self at ease, which is often followed by finely tuning physical and mental relaxation. To me, reaching a spiritual relaxation is realising that true happiness comes from within, that you and you alone can bring peace to your soul through your own spiritual beliefs and feelings.
You can find more about how to relax correctly for a healthier mind and body in the book “The Sivananda Yoga Training Manual”. A comprehensive booklet outlining the five principles of yoga. You will find the Yoga book in our website shop.