By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Many people are looking for stress management in Yoga classes, but cannot find it in the area where they live. If you are looking for relaxation techniques, it is unlikely that you will learn them in a room full of “young hard bodies,” in which the room is heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
In truth, a hot room may do many of us some good, but for some people, a 105 degrees Fahrenheit Yoga training session, may have just the opposite effect. Some of us are comfortable in warm weather climates, while others dislike the heat. In the end, temperature is a matter of personal preference.
When Aura Wellness Center was located in North Providence, there was a Hot Yoga studio just a few blocks away. We would often receive some of their students, who no longer wanted heat. Many of them would tell us of students who vomited in the parking lot after 90 minutes of asana practice at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, that’s one way to get the toxins out of your body, but there are less radical methods.
So, what do you do if the only styles you can find are aerobic, cardio, hot, or fitness Yoga? These days, many people may find initial exposure to Yoga training in a health club. Yet, Yogic methodology is still being taught in ashrams and studios. Yoga teachers, in local studios, usually have, at least, two styles, which they teach to the public. If you have never heard of the style, or styles, at your local Yoga studio, you can still research the style in books or on the Internet.
What if there is nothing in your area to help in the area of Yoga for stress management? Then, it is time to visit your local book store or library. You should research books, stress management books, audio books, until you find the stress management course, which is right for you. Yogic relaxation techniques can be practiced any time you need them, but most people practice them before sleeping or before meditation. Your body and mind need rest every day, but dreams do not allow your mind to rest.
Let’s discuss two Yogic methods for relaxation, which you will easily find in your books. One is the stage-by-stage relaxation technique and the other is a variation of the body scan technique. Both of them incorporate breath awareness; we will focus on the body from the toes up.
You should take the time to decide which relaxation method is best for you, by practicing each method a few times, over the course of seven days. Stage-by-Stage relaxation takes a bit more time, but each method could also be practiced before meditation, bedtime, or on nights when you experience insomnia. The worst that can happen is you fall asleep. Do not judge yourself – Just practice, observe, and enjoy.
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