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April 27, 2015
I'm curious to know more about different yoga relaxation techniques. I was trained in a fitness based style and this was an area we didn't cover in my training. Why do we have to roll over from the left side when coming out of supine position to the sitting position? A yoga student posed this question to me and I told her that I would come back to her as soon as possible.
April 27, 2015
A Yoga Relaxation Sequence - Simple Postures for Stress Release
When B.K.S. Iyengar first popularized Hatha yoga in the West, it was known as a form of rigorous exercise. However, there is a far gentler side to this ancient practice, one ideal for releasing stress and cultivating complete relaxation. The following sequence of postures will purge tension from mind and body alike, and may be practiced safely, even by people who are out of shape.
1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose)
Settle yourself on a yoga mat. Sit up tall, but keep the back relaxed. Gently extend the legs, then bend the knees and draw the soles of the feet together in front of the body. Exhale slowly, and grasp the feet near the ankles. Let the knees fall gently to each side, and keep the torso erect. Breathe slowly and comfortably in this position for two to three minutes. Repeated practice of Baddha Konasana will enable one to sit on the floor without discomfort for extended lengths of time.
2. Dandasana (Staff Pose)
After some time has passed, release the feet and let the arms fall to the side. Now straighten the posture once more while extending the legs directly in front of the body. The toes point straight up and the hands rest gently on the mat. Now, flex the feet; the heels may lift slightly off the mat. As you elongate the spine, align the shoulders above the hips. One useful tip to performing this asana properly: staff pose is considered a seated version of tadasana (mountain).
3. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Now lie back, and stretch out on the mat to enter Shavasana. This pose is frequently used to relax after a vigorous session comprising many yoga poses; there is no better asana for stress relief. Rest the arms at the sides, but leave a space between the torso and the arms. Now turn the palms upward, exhale, and surrender completely to the gentle tug of gravity. As your body becomes completely still, allow a sensation of sinking into the ground to envelop the consciousness. To enter a deep state of peace, focus on the body from head to foot, then back again. As the awareness moves down the body, imagine each muscle becoming more and more relaxed. This posture may be maintained as long as necessary, however the body will tend to fall asleep after ten minutes of deep, yogic breathing in corpse pose.
This yoga relaxation sequence should be practiced regularly; frequent performance of this simple series of asanas will effectively relieve the deleterious effects of chronic stress and promote a sense of complete tranquility.
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