Teaching Yoga – Stage by Stage Relaxation

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Teaching Yoga – Stage by Stage Relaxation

the rewards of yoga trainingBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

According to many experienced Yoga teachers, meditation is the ultimate end of a Yoga class. That may be, but how does a Yoga teacher show beginner students how to calm their minds? The answer is: Teach your students to relax before breath observance or an awareness meditation session. Here is how I learned to practice this form of relaxation, while training at Aura Wellness Center.

Stage by state relaxation is a sequence which begins by lying on your back in Shivasana, or Corpse pose. The breath is observed for a few minutes, with no aim of controlling it. This is followed by two deep inhalations and exhalations, letting the abdomen swell out on the inhalations and drawing it in towards the backbone on the exhalations. After two breaths, let the abdominal wall relax completely. Now observe the breathing until it becomes quiet and smooth, then let your attention move over the body in the following sequence, looking for tension in each part and releasing any tension so the muscles rest with all their weight.

Careful attention should be noted as to the feeling of tension, and the feeling of relaxation. The sequence is: left foot, left calf, left thigh, front and rear; right foot, right calf, right thigh, front and rear; pelvis; abdomen; lower back; chest; upper back; left hand; left forearm; left upper arm, front and rear; left shoulder; right hand; right forearm, right upper arm, front and rear, right shoulder; throat; neck; jaw; lips; tongue; eyes; brow; scalp. Remember to relax fingers and toes so they feel limp, when relaxing the hands and feet. After going over the entire body, return to observing the breath for several minutes.

Now begin the sequence again, from feet to head, and continue for fifteen to thirty minutes. The entire body should be relaxed, and free of tension, and the mind should be peaceful.

This is what I learned while studying with Paulji. I also learned many more forms of relaxation and even more forms of meditation, while training at Aura. The modern mindset has become much like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or AD/HD), which is a common neurobehavioral developmental disorder of the 21st century.

Knowing this, every Yoga teacher training course should break down the meditation process for teaching beginners with mind calming building blocks. This enables teachers to take the average person from relaxation and transcend into higher forms of meditation as each stage of training the mind is mastered. It’s one thing for interns to understand how to clam their minds. It’s quite another matter to take people off the street and enable them to train their minds.

© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications

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