Yoga & Relaxation Tips

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Why do I need to relax during yoga practice?

Why

Relaxation is an important part of any good yoga practice.

Relaxation before you begin will help you get into the proper state of mind. Take a few minutes to relax between each series of postures to help re-center yourself and feel the benefits of the postures you've completed.

In my opinion relaxation at the end of practice is essential. It allows you to reap the benefits of the session, and to ready your mind and body for other activities.

Relaxation is one of the most enjoyable and beneficial parts of my yoga practice. It helps calm my mind and relieve the stress of daily living.

   
What is meditation?

What is it?

Meditation is the seventh state, or limb, of yoga – Dhyana. It is the attempt to reach pure consciousness.

To meditate, you need to calm the mind and focus on a specific object or word. For example, you may have heard of people saying, “Om” continuously during meditation. Your eyes can be open or closed. The important thing to remember is that your goal is to reach that state of “pure consciousness” when you meditate.

   
How can I benefit from meditation?

Benefits

Did you know that meditation can help lower blood pressure? It can. In fact, practicing meditation can also help you manage stress.

A great thing to do when you're feeling stressed (and maybe that blood pressure rising) is to stop, go someplace quiet, take a few deep breaths, and meditate. It will do wonders for you. You'll feel relaxed and refreshed.

   
What position do I use when meditating?

Posture

You probably have seen people meditating in what is known as Lotus Pose. This is where you sit on the floor, in cross-legged position, with the feet resting on top of the thighs. Hands are usually gently resting on the knees.

But this is not absolutely necessary. Advanced students are comfortable in Lotus Pose and it's appropriate for them. Beginners, on the other hand, may find a simple cross-legged position much more comfortable.

   
When should I do relaxation in my yoga practice?

Before, During and After

Relaxation is an important part of any good yoga practice.

You should try to allow a few minutes before you begin to relax and get into the proper state of mind.

You should relax between each series of postures to help re-center yourself and feel the benefits of the postures you've completed.

You should allow at least 10 minutes at the end of your practice to relax, reap the benefits of the session, and to ready your mind and body for other activities.

For me, relaxation is one of the most enjoyable and beneficial parts of my yoga practice. It helps calm my mind and relieve the stress of daily living.

   
Why do I need “relaxation” during yoga?

What is “Relaxation?”

You may wonder why “relaxation” is identified as a specific part of yoga. Don't we all know how to relax already? In yoga, relaxation is the way you clear your mind of everyday thoughts and distractions. Before you begin, it readies you for the practice. When you relax between series of postures, it allows you to pause and re-energize before the next series. At the end of your session, yoga helps you to prepare for returning to everyday life. I've found that the “relaxation” during my yoga practice often carries into my other daily activities. I'm more calm and self-assured; little difficulties and distractions don't bother me.

   
Do I have to meditate as part of my yoga practice?

Meditation and Yoga

You don't have to formally meditate as part of a yoga practice. So don't confuse “relaxation” in yoga with meditation. They are separate, but complimentary things.

Meditation can be done alone or a part of a yoga practice. The decision is yours.

   
What postures can I do for relaxation?

More Poses

There are poses, other than Corpse Pose, that you can use for relaxation, for example between backbends you should rest fully-extended in prone position (sort of a reverse Corpse Pose), and Child's Pose also work well for some people.

Remember the key for a relaxation pose is that you do not feel any stress or strain in your muscles. If you do, try another position.

   
Are there variations to Child´s Pose?

Child's Pose

The traditional Child's Pose is uncomfortable for some people, especially beginners. But there are many variations.

For example you can part your legs, if pressing your chest into your thighs is uncomfortable; or if placing your forehead on the floor is difficult, use a pillow or folded blanket to support your head.

   
What postures can I do for relaxation?

Basic

Corpse Pose is the most basic relaxation posture. It allows you to evenly relax all your muscles without stress or strain.

Remember to gently relax and let your body sink into the floor. Don't tense any of your muscles.

I find it helpful to begin by stretching both arms and legs until they're fully extended, and then letting go into Corpse Pose.

   
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