Updated: Sep 4, 2021
“Before I came to class today I was feeling so down with everything that is going on in the world, overwhelmed & worried, but now I feel fantastic, uplifted, joyful. I’m so glad I came.” Mary
We hear again and again that Yoga is relaxing - but how does it actually work?
Yoga has so much to teach us about letting go and relaxing into the NOW, no matter what else is going on around us. Through awareness and repetition, we learn to connect to something still - something familiar - within ourselves.
Yoga practice helps us to become ‘unplugged’.
Think about this: A Psychology Professor asks her students to tell her how much a glass of water weighs. After a few guesses, she tells them that actually it depends on how long you are holding it for. For 5 minutes, it is light. But hold it for an hour and it gets quite heavy! If you continue to hold it for several hours and days, the weight becomes unbearable.
And that is what it is like with our own problems, stresses & worries. And why it is so important to consciously put the glass down. As often as you can!
Yoga gives a space to let it all go and just for now focus on our bodies, our minds, our breath. That’s all. The postures, the breathing and the relaxation techniques work like magic, and lead us step by step back to ourselves. Yoga gives a pathway.
Yoga ~ Relax. Here's what happens:
Stretching the body stimulates the #relaxation response, it helps to release physical tension & gets the circulation going.
Postures strengthen and tone the body and get us right out of our heads and into inhabiting more fully this amazing vehicle we have.
Deep abdominal breathing stimulates the vagus nerve also promoting relaxation.
#Mindful awareness of the breath and the body as you move provides a mental focus. And one by one the worrying thoughts loosen their hold and fade away. Effortlessly!
Being in a space with an experienced teacher and others creates its own steady focused energy. You can feel the peace settle in around you.
#Yoga Nidra continues to deepen the relaxation response and you let go physically and mentally into an ocean of stillness.
The heart rate lowers, the blood pressure lowers, the musculoskeletal system totally lets go; and while you completely relax, the digestive system gets to work, as does the immune system.
The practices of Yoga taught in a systematic and structured way positively affect every system of your body. And in this way, Yoga brings us back to #balance.
Even as a yoga and meditation teacher, the stresses and strains of life still catch up with me. I find myself tapping away on the computer into the evening just finishing that last email, or promotion. I often notice my shoulders coming up around the ears and that feeling of racing against the clock. A sense of impending doom if I don’t get it finished. Sound familiar?
So I have to keep myself on track, too. And this is how I do it.
After my years of ashram training, the #routine is very simple.
Sunrise: Stretching, Breathing, Meditation
Afternoon: Yoga Nidra
Evening: Music, Reading, Reflection
It’s like 3 scheduled times to put that glass of water down. I get to check in and notice what’s going on for me, how I’m feeling, what I need. It keeps me whole and balanced so that I can offer that to others.
Your own home routine
If you want to have your own home routine – as well as attending a class – (gold standard practice!) keep it short and sweet. Aim for 4 days a week. That's more often than not. And everything else then becomes a bonus.
Sunrise: Simple stretching & breath meditation. (10-30 mins)
Afternoon/after work: Guided audio ~ put your feet up (10-30 mins)
Evening: Turn off the TV and have some quiet time (10 -30 mins)
Ah the bliss of it all!
#Yoga Relax Weekend
If you would like to experience it for yourself, join me for the Yoga Relax Retreat Day at Murdunna ~ Sunday, Oct 3. Bookings now open.