Relaxation Techniques

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Tips for a successful relaxation practice

Relaxation isn't quite the same as doing nothing. Often, when you believe you're doing nothing, you're actually busy contracting unused muscles quite unconsciously. Relaxation is a conscious endeavor that lies somewhere between effort and noneffort. To truly relax, you have to understand and practice the skill. Relaxation doesn't require any gadgets, but you may want to try the following Don't practice relaxation techniques on a full stomach.

Relaxation Techniques That Work

The Sanskrit word for relaxation is shaithilya, which is pronounced shy-theel-yah and means loosening. It refers to the loosening of bodily and mental tension all the knots that you tie when you don't go with the flow of life. These knots are like kinks in a hose that prevent the water from flowing freely. Keeping muscles in a constant alert state expends a great amount of your energy, which then is unavailable when you call upon your muscles to really function. Conscious relaxation trains your muscles to release their grip when you don't use them. This relaxation keeps the muscles responsive to the signals from your brain telling them to contract so that you can perform all the countless tasks of a busy day.

Yoga Nidra Deep Relaxation

Many yoga classes conclude with what is known as yoga nidra, which literally means yoga sleep. Yoga nidra is more commonly known as Deep Relaxation, or when performed at the end of a yoga session, Final Relaxation. This deeply calming experience can help you to integrate the benefits achieved during your yoga session, as well as let go of any areas where you may still be holding tension whether that tension be physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual. Nearly every yoga class concludes with a period of deep relaxation. Many yoga teachers believe that this is the most important part of a yoga practice. It provides the opportunity not only to integrate the benefits of your yoga session, but also to tune in to yourself a priceless benefit for the typical man suffering from the pressures of time constraints and societal demands. There are many powerful ways of preparing for Deep Relaxation. The relaxation exercise that follows was inspired by my recollection of one very deep and...

What relaxation is not

Few people are aware of the real meaning of relaxation. This is obvious ifwe consider some of the methods that modern man adopts to remove tension. As examples, we can give television, radio, alcohol and tranquillizers. Are these effective in inducing relaxation. The answer is that they bring a limited respite from gross tensions while causing harm (and thereby further tensions) in other ways. It may be pleasant to finish a hard day's work by turning on the television, but it does not bring deep relaxation. The mind is bombarded with images which tend to bring more inner chaos. Actually television does bring some relaxation by providing escapism - or, perhaps, if the programs are sufficiently boring, by lulling the viewer off to sleep. The same can be said of the radio the continual blitz by music in the car, in the park or at home provides some escapism and a little alleviation of tensions, but it does not bring deep relaxation. The same can be said of alcohol and tranquillizers. It...

Relaxation and yoga nidra

In yoga, relaxation is clearly defined as a state in which there is freedom from physical, emotional and mental tension. Practices such as yoga nidra are designed to systematically soothe away tensions at all these three levels. Yoga nidra induces deep relaxation of the whole physical body. The muscles, nerves, Yoga nidra tackles mental tension, which can be regarded as those aspects of the mind that are based on ignorance and wrong thinking. We are conditioned by the circumstances of life. These produce tension. Yoga nidra slowly helps to whittle away false thinking and ignorance. We gain deeper insight into our own being and the nature of existence. We start to plummet into the depths, or rise to the heights of the mind. The tensions of ignorance are gradually removed. This leads to greater and greater degrees of permanent relaxation. Real relaxation comes only when you achieve a state of what can be called spiritual awareness. One sees a background and order behind all things, and...

Supine Tensionrelaxation Exercises

If you consistently have trouble relaxing, one of the best remedies is an isometric tension-relaxation exercise. Lying in the supine corpse postuie, try a sequence of tensing and then relaxing both upper extremities, both lower extremities, the right upper and right lower, the left upper and left lower, the right upper and left lower, the left upper and right lower. Finally, create whole-body tension then relax. These exercises not only train the motor units to respond to your will, they also place tension on the Golgi tendon organs in the tendons connected to the muscles being tensed. Stimulation of those receptors reflexly relaxes the muscles involved. Students can safely be encouraged to go to extremes in this exercise the more vigorously they hold tension, the more the Golgi tendon receptors will stimulate relaxation in the affected muscles.

Practices for relaxation

It may seem surprising, but the first step in attaining deep relaxation through asanas is to tense the whole body. It is only after applying muscular tension to the entire body that you can subsequently allow your whole body to relax. Think of when you did a particularly hard day's physical work. Do you remember how easy it was to lie down on the bed and rest or sleep This assumes, of course, that you did not over-exercise your body to make it ache at the end of the day.

Mechanics of relaxation techniques

How can we relax and learn to do it well As is often the case, for the answer we have to look towards the animals or to those humans less disturbed by the tumultuous world, namely our children. When a child sleeps it forgets all problems. When a child sleeps it really sleeps, if it plays then it really plays and when it works it works. There is full intensity in the activity at hand. Adults have the habit of mentally working when they sleep and play, and of sleepwalking when they work. So one basic rule of relaxation is to shut off thoughts on a conscious level about things that you have completed. Don't dwell or brood over problems. Your subconscious mind actually has great powers to solve problems without any need for the thought processes to be at a conscious level. When you have fed the necessary data into the mind about any particular topic, forget it. The mind will churn out the answer when it is required. Your conscious brooding on the problem in an effort to aid the process...

Relaxation Shavasana Part

In the previous lesson we explained the importance of regularly relaxing the mind and body and how relaxation techniques bring about the removal of physical and mental tension1. We explained the importance of tensing the whole body just prior to relaxing by utilizing naukasana, as well as the first part of shavasana.

The Art and Science of Relaxation

Relaxation is an art, for there are various practices which one can develop and utilize to bring about relaxation of the mind and body, transforming life into an expression of well-being. Relaxation is also a science, for it is based on solid scientific fact. Relaxation sounds easy - one merely closes the eyes and sleeps. But, in fact, for most people relaxation, deep relaxation, is very difficult. While resting, their minds are in a state of turmoil and their bodies are continually tossing and turning, and the muscles twitching. The biggest obstacle to overcome is for people to actually take active steps to bring about relaxation, to develop and use the various techniques that are available. Because most people cannot relax, in the real sense of the word, they will find that their whole lives will change by just being able to relax. It is such a simple thing, but it can bring wonderful results. Relaxation is essential in everyone's life. By relaxation we mean a release of tension in...

Final Relaxation Exercise

Lie down on the floor, preferably on a carpet or other padded surface, with your back resting on the Fig. YPS. 15 Final Relaxation You are now ready to do a nice, long relaxation. This relaxation will allow you to integrate all the benefits of the yoga session that you have just been doing, as well as to release any toxins and tension from your body. First, you'll begin with a physical relaxation, followed by a mental relaxation, for a complete relaxation of body, mind, and soul. Allow your breathing to be full, deep, and relaxed. Enjoy the blissful sensation of peace and calm as you allow yourself to surrender your body, mind, and soul. You have nothing to do only to be. Just be, in this present moment. Be receptive to the healing power of the life force that is flowing through you with each breath that you take. Be grateful for the restorative and energizing power of this relaxation exercise and of all of your yoga practice. Yoga nidra affords us the opportunity to be not only...

Guided Imagery and Guided Relaxation

Guided imagery and guided relaxation are relaxation techniques in which you listen to a message specifically designed for relaxation. You can work with a partner or use a recording of your own voice or another voice reading a relaxation script. You can also purchase guided imagery and guided relaxation audio recordings. To prepare for guided imagery or guided relaxation, you should make sure your environment is quiet and free from distractions. Begin in Relaxation Pose, as shown on page 242, and place an eye bag or folded face cloth over your eyes. During guided imagery or guided relaxation, your mind and body work together to help you achieve a state of deep relaxation.

Coming Out Of Relaxation In Slow Motion

When you have gotten to the point at which you can sustain relaxation for a whole, you can try this experiment. At the end of a long relaxation, and before you have moved any part of the body, think of coming out of the posture in slow motion. Try to flex only one finger in the most minuscule possible movement. What you notice if you are completely relaxed is that

Spiritual Relaxation

Once you achieve physical and mental relaxation, spiritual relaxation is also possible. Spiritual relaxation brings a feeling of inner peace and contentment. This type of relaxation also promotes a sense of inner awareness, which can help put you in touch with yourself and those around you. BENEFITS OF RELAXATION Relaxation is necessary for your mental and physical well-being. If you do not give yourself time to relax on a regular basis, your body and mind can become worn out and overwhelmed. Relaxation is the most natural and effective way to soothe and revitalize your mind. Through relaxation, you will become more in touch with your body, enabling you to recognize and overcome any tension in your body more easily. RELAXATION TECHNIQUES


Mental problems can only be confronted and removed when the mind is relaxed. Relaxation can be induced by Regular practise of relaxation techniques such as shavasana3 As the mind is emptied of its ingrained problems, one automatically becomes more relaxed in all life situations. Conversely, the cultivation and inducement of relaxation by various techniques helps to both clean out the accumulated dross and prevent further problems arising and causing new disturbances. Relaxation techniques are therefore highly recommended for rooting out mental problems. This is not only practised by yoga but also by other systems concerned with the mind. Psychiatry, for example, clearly recognizes the importance of relaxation this is why good therapists either systematically relax the patient with a special technique, or induce relaxation through the atmosphere of their room and by being relaxed themselves. Relaxation is absolutely necessary if you wish to empty your mind. The subject of relaxation...

Complete Relaxation

In the section on deepening and maintaining, it was noted that the more active a practitioner is while in the phase, the better. Conversely, if there is less activity, the quality of the phase declines, allowing for an easy exit. Thus, in order to leave the phase, the practitioner only needs to completely relax and ignore any perceived sensations, actions, or thoughts. A practitioner may also recite a prayer, mantra, or rhyme, since that helps the consciousness to be distracted from the situation more quickly. Of course, one needs to calm down and try to get rid of the fear, which in and of itself is capable of keeping such a state going. Periodically, the practitioner should try to move a finger in order to check whether attempts at relaxation have had an effect.

Deepening Relaxation

Even if the somatic and autonomic systems are not creating obstacles, the mind may still be active, and this too can prevent deep relaxation. It has been documented that when the body is relaxed and the subject purposely entertains extraneous thoughts, a biofeedback monitor keeping track of skeletal muscular activity reacts immediately showing clearly that quieting the mind is just as important to relaxation as quieting the body.

The Concept Of Direct Techniques

First, we will examine when it is best to perform the techniques and how intensively to exercise their practice. Then, we will examine the very important factor of body position, and the no less crucial issue of how long the techniques should be performed. Then, we will briefly investigate the issue of relaxation, and then we will immediately move on to the actual direct techniques. Only after covering all of the above are we able to delve into the issue of what a free-floating state of consciousness is and how to achieve it.

No Dmitry Markov Radio Mechanic Moscow Russia

Dmitry's body went through the ceiling without any difficulty because there was no vision and the phase itself had not been deepened, otherwise this would not have happened so easily. Praying and appealing to God helped in this case because praying facilitated a relaxation of perceptions and an intention to go back to reality two factors which are crucial during emergency return techniques. Upon returning to his body, he could have still tried to separate again, though this would have been easier said than done due to the fear associated with the first experience.

Moscow Russia

Answers and Comments When examining distant objects in the phase, there is always a risk of returning to one's body because the activity is relaxing and relaxation is detrimental to the length of a phase. Boris could have continued to take in the view by simultaneously keeping up vibrations, periodically examining his hands, or rubbing them together. During the entire length of Boris's phase, he performed sensory amplification by touching to deepen and maintain the phase.

Types Of Techniques

There are three primary types of techniques that make it possible to enter the phase direct, indirect and dream consciousness. These methods are performed while lying down or reclining, eyes closed, the body in a state of total relaxation. Indirect techniques are the easiest techniques to practice, which is why many practitioners use them to enter the phase. Sleep naturally provides the mind with deep relaxation, which is often difficult to

Open Up and Let Go The Mind

You've moved past your body and are now immersed in your mind. But that has to go, too. Yes, the mind is as distracting as the body when it comes to true relaxation maybe more so Even as you lie in the corpse pose feeling proud that you've managed to transcend your body, at least to some extent, your mind is holding you back from true awareness. How By making you feel proud, for one thing Pride belongs to the ego, and in true awareness, there is no ego. So what's an active-minded person to do Simple Stop thinking.

Yoga Nidra Yogic Sleep

If your body-mind is slow to wind down to get its well-deserved rest, here's a potent technique to catch up on your sleep quotient by enticing Mr. Sandman to visit you regularly. Yogic Sleep is a very powerful relaxation technique that you can do after you gain some control over the relaxation response (which we discuss in the earlier Detach yourself sidebar). When practiced successfully, this technique is as restorative as sleep except you remain fully aware throughout.

Triumph Over Unimportant Thoughts

Removal of tension in the muscles of the body brings repose and calmness to the mind. By relaxation you give rest to the mind, tired nerves and the overworked muscles. You will get immense peace of mind, strength and vigour. When you practice relaxation of either body or mind, the brain should not be occupied with various sorts of loose extraneous thoughts. Anger, disappointment, failure, indisposition, misery, sorrow, quarrels cause internal mental strain. Expel them.

Choosing a chair for comfort

A folding metal chair or a sturdy wooden chair without arms can have multiple uses as a Yoga prop. Many (if not most) beginners have a hard time sitting on the floor for prolonged periods during meditation or breathing exercises, and sitting on a chair is a great alternative to sitting on the floor. Make sure, though, that your feet aren't dangling if they don't easily touch the floor, place them on a phone book. Students with back problems often use a chair during the relaxation phase at the end of a Yoga class. Lying on your back and placing your lower legs up on a chair, combined with guided relaxation techniques from the instructor, can really help to release back tension or pain. You can find numerous books and magazine articles about doing your entire Yoga practice in a chair, with suggestions for ways to take Yoga chair breaks around the house or in your office for a quick pick-me-up.

The Autonomic Nervous System

Our discussion of the autonomic nervous system in chapter 2 focused on its associations with breathing, but its main role is helping to regulate functions of internal organs in general, including non-somatic structures such as blood vessels throughout the body and sweat glands in the skin (figs. I0.4a-b). Even though these regulatory functions are mostly outside our conscious awareness, some of their effects are important to relaxation. If you lie down to relax and notice that your hands and feet are cold and sweaty or that you are dizzy and headachy or that your heart is beating too fast, autonomic functions are not being optimally managed. In such cases training in relaxation may help you diminish the symptoms. How this happens is not clear because the autonomic nervous system is not directly under the control of our will. Its regulation has to take place indirectly, and the only way we can manage it is to capitalize on everything in our bag of tricks mental attitude, exercise,...

Intensification of feeling

The awakening and intensification of feelings is an integral part of the practice of yoga nidra. It is generally integrated with the rotation of awareness through the different parts of the body. Its purpose is to help induce deeper states of relaxation and to awaken and perhaps relive emotional knots in the mind as a means to their removal. These are suggested by the instructor during the practice session. You must try to clearly feel the sensations associated with the above, either in different parts of the body or one part in particular. For example, you can develop the sensation of heat and then eliminate it at will. Or you can try to remember a vivid pain and relive it. You must bring it from the past into the present and then throw it out of the mind. You create coldness and then remove it you create heaviness and then remove it you create pleasure and then remove it. This can easily release emotional tensions from the psyche, ones that have been locked in the subconscious mind....

Awareness and duration

One should be aware of breathing and movement throughout the practice. Make sure that the breath is synchronized with the movement as this helps to obtain the best possible benefits from the asana. Be aware also of the back and its relaxation, particularly the lower back. In the final pose be aware of the flexion of the lower back.

Corpse posture with bent legs repeated

Covering your eyes can give a deeper relaxation effect. Use an eye bag or a scarf to cover your eyes to see whether you like it. (You can read more on eye bags and other props in Chapter 19.) Placing your feet comfortably up on a chair or a bed also adds a very calming effect and improves the circulation in your legs. It can even help improve your sleep.

Knowing the Benefits of Meditation

All the arts of relaxation breath control, contemplation, prayer, affirmation, repetition of a mantra, and visualization are different, but they all direct you toward self-realization and a deep meditative state. Different systems of thought and traditions vary in their meditation techniques, but they all have the same goal to reach the point of stillness, quiet, and communion with the essence of your being. i Stair-step meditation (or modified progressive relaxation) You focus on different areas of your body with the aim of relaxing those areas one at a time.

Avoid Inverted Poses and Back Bends

Yoga can be a great source of exercise, relaxation and fun for children. In fact, yoga is taught in many elementary schools in the United States. Yoga is especially beneficial for hyperactive children or children with Attention Deficit Disorder. children. Remember that a yoga practice can only hold a child's attention for a limited amount of time. Aim for a 15 to 20 minute practice for children in preschool, a 20 to 30 minute practice for elementary school children and 30 minutes or more for preteens. Try to include at least a short period of relaxation at the end of each practice.

Releasing tension with a contractandrelease exercise

Abruptly, relaxing and letting your body fall completely limp. In this way, you achieve a state of deeper relaxation, and you systematically relieve tension from different areas of your body. Visualize each muscle group you're working on in your mind's eye before you contract and relax the muscle group. By directing your thoughts into a part of your body, you can discover the nerve pathways necessary for relaxation. You discover how to relax by directing your mental energy toward your body.

Celebrate the Benefits to Your Sex Life

Another benefit to your sex life comes from the emphasis that yoga with weights places on breathing. Many sexual techniques call on you to focus on your breathing as a means of relaxing and enhancing the sensation so you enjoy sex more. Relaxation occurs naturally in the breathing practices as the body releases stress and the habitually thinking mind quiets down. You become more receptive, present, and relaxed when you can focus on and control your breathing. Relaxation is supportive to sexual arousal and enhanced duration. You feel increased energy and pleasure, and you can begin to experience the timeless quality of sexual fulfillment.

Yoga nidra as a meditative technique

We have tended to emphasize use of yoga nidra as a relaxation technique. We have also suggested that yoga nidra be utilized, if necessary, as a method of inducing sleep. Possibly this may give the impression that yoga nidra is a preliminary technique for beginners but actually yoga nidra, if practised correctly, can lead directly to meditation. Yoga nidra is, in fact, a powerful meditative technique. 1. Deep relaxation of the physical, emotional and mental planes this corresponds to pratyahara and dharana. that you wish, whether relaxation, sleep or removal of personality problems. But remember the highest purpose of yoga nidra is to bring the joy of meditation.

The importance of stage

In stage 3 the sutra was arranged so that it emerged from both nostrils, crossing from one nostril to the next at the back of the nose. The flow of air through each nostril varies sometimes the flow is greater through the left nostril and sometimes the flow is greater through the right nostril. Sometimes the flow through each nostril is equal and this is very important in yoga. Predominant air flow through the right nostril corresponds to extroversion and physical activity and flow of air predominantly through the left nostril represents introversion. When the flows are balanced, then this is conducive to higher awareness one is neither lost in outside activities nor mentally brooding over problems or whatever. There is a balance and this balance is conducive to relaxation and receptivity in your whole being.

Asanas An Introduction

As such one should try to think of asanas not as physical poses but as states of being. Correct performance of asanas requires participation of one's whole being, with awareness of oneself in relation to the physical position and movement, the breath, relaxation of the muscles and so forth. If asanas were only physical exercises then it would be quite acceptable to think about work, breakfast or whatever while performing them. But this is not the case. The practice of asanas requires active involvement of one's entire being as fully as possible.

Daily Practice How Long

This set of exercises can take from 20 to 40 minutes depending on how long you do each exercise. The deep relaxation after the set is an additional 5-10 minutes. The silent meditation is also between 3-11 or more minutes depending on the time you have. Tailor your practice times so that you do not feel rushed. The more relaxed and present you are to what you are doing and what is happening, the better the results and the more awareness you will cultivate.

Thoughtwaves and Thoughttransference

Just as you take physical exercises, play games such as tennis and cricket in order to maintain physical health, you will have to maintain mental health by radiating the right thought-waves, by taking Sattvic food, mental recreation of an innocent and harmless nature, change of mood, relaxation of mind by entertaining good, ennobling and sublime thoughts and by cultivating the habit of cheerfulness.

Yoga Helps You Maintain Recover or Improve Your Health

When you consider that 75 to 90 percent of all visits to the doctor are related to stress, Yoga's holistic approach is a prudent first choice for fostering well-being. Through its relaxation, postural, breathing, and meditation exercises as well as dietary rules, Yoga can effectively lower your level of tension and anxiety. Thus, yogic practice boosts your immune system, which helps keep illness at bay and facilitates the physical healing process if you're already sick. Research demonstrates that Yoga is a very effective way of dealing with a variety of health problems from hypertension, adult-onset diabetes, and respiratory illnesses (such as asthma) to sleep

Integral Yoga The Style

Each Integral Yoga class follows a prescribed format. They are generally 75 to 90 minutes in length. The first 55 minutes are devoted to the practice of physical asanas, followed by a deep relaxation. Pranayama followed by meditation and a brief chanting session complete the class.

Shorter Yoga Sequences

It is better to practice three times per week for ten minutes than to practice a full forty-five minute session once a week. In addition, it will help keep your child's practice consistent if he knows he cannot get out of the exercises just because he may not feel like it. We grouped some of the poses that we feel flow well together. You do not have to adhere strictly to the exact poses or the sequence of poses. However, end each session with Child's Pose and Corpse Pose for final stretching and relaxation.

Exhaling to a count of four lower your arms to the starting position see Figure a

Opening the Way is an exercise that helps to prepare your pelvic girdle for childbirth by opening your groin and supporting the relaxation and release in your pelvis. The pelvic girdle is the boney structure surrounding your pelvis. During vaginal childbirth, the baby passes through the opening in the pelvic girdle. The exercise also strengthens and tones your upper torso, including your back and spine, and teaches you to breathe fully by encouraging good posture. Breathing properly with good posture is a big help during childbirth, when comfort matters so much.

Incorporating Yoga into nighttime routines

When you live Yoga as a spiritual discipline, the practice extends even to your sleep. In Chapter 4, we give you a relaxation technique that's better than any sleeping pill for preparing you for sleep. You can make this technique even more powerful by repeating the same intention (samkalpa) that you also use upon waking flip to Turning your face toward a Yoga morning earlier in the chapter for more on the samkalpa. Repeat your intention when your relaxation is deepest and before emerging from it or falling asleep.

Sivananda Yoga The Style

Typically, Sivananda Yoga is taught in several courses that progress from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Beginners Yoga, Part I, is a five-session class that focuses on proper exercise (basic yoga postures), proper breathing, and proper relaxation. Each class is 60 minutes in length. Instruction is continued in Beginners Yoga, Part 2, which teaches the rest of the basic yoga postures and exercises, and introduces the principles of proper diet, positive thinking, and meditation. This course is also a five-class series, with each class lasting 90 minutes. Additional classes are offered in intermediate and advanced yoga postures, as well as in meditation. Once students have completed the two beginners' courses, they are free to attend open classes, which are typical of a Sivananda Yoga class. These classes last for 90 minutes and follow a prescribed protocol. They begin with approximately 20 minutes of two basic breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are followed by more than...

Incorrect position of the back

We again emphasize that you should try to avoid either slumping forwards or straining backwards. Both of these positions prevent optimum relaxation and free breathing. It is impossible to relax if you are struggling to hold the spine in an abnormally arched position, just as it is impossible to relax with an aching back from a forward slumped position. And we assure you that backache is most likely to occur if you are slumped forwards. It is essential for optimum results to hold your head and back in a comfortable upright position.

Movement and covering

Some people may find it uncomfortable to lie on the floor with only a pillow under their head. In this case pillows may also be placed under the knees, to take up the gap between the floor and the back of the knees, and under the small of the back in the region ofthe waist. The support of these extra cushions will help you to attain more relaxation. Don't lie on a soft bed or mattress as this will not allow you to distinguish whether you are relaxing the muscles or not. If the atmosphere is cold or if there are any small insects in the air, cover yourself with a large sheet or blanket. But the covering should not be too heavy.

Rules for visualization

With practice, visualization becomes easy and spontaneous. If you practise yoga nidra regularly this faculty will gradually unfold and this capacity to visualize will, in turn, help you to experience deeper states of relaxation, and perhaps even deeper perception and insight into the nature of things.

Devotion Completes Sadhana

We always begin our morning practice of KY and meditation by chanting ONG NA MO GURU DEV NA MO, which opens us up the infinite vibration within us. We attune and balance our body and mind with Kundalini yoga and meditation. We consolidate and anchor our transformed vibration with deep relaxation.

Daily Discipline of Thoughts

Here is a beautiful daily exercise for mental relaxation. It will pour into you great inspiration and strength. Close the eyes. Think of anything that is pleasant. This will relax the mind in a wonderful manner. Think of the mighty Himalayas, the sacred Ganga, the striking scenery in Kashmir, the Taj Mahal, the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, a lovely sunset, the vast expanse of ocean or the infinite blue sky.

Can You Do Yoga Without Being Spiritual

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the inventor of Transcendental Meditation, or TM, which involves the mental repetition of a mantra. A mantra can be provided to you by your TM instructor, or you can create your own. TM is a great way to achieve deep relaxation, and TM instructors are widely available to teach you the technique.

Maximize Your Performance

End every yoga session with a few minutes of complete and total relaxation. Don't move, don't think practice sitting or lying absolutely still. Simply feel your body. This little space at the end of your yoga workout is an important part of bringing mind and body together grounding your awareness and allowing your body to make the most of your workout. End every yoga session with a few minutes of complete and total relaxation. Don't move, don't think practice sitting or lying absolutely still. Simply feel your body. This little space at the end of your yoga workout is an important part of bringing mind and body together grounding your awareness and allowing your body to make the most of your workout.

Diaphragmatic Breathing In The Corpse Posture

Diaphragmatic (thoraco-diaphragmatic) breathing in the corpse posture is not as relaxing as abdominal breathing, but it is a powerful energizing technique that should be explored by intermediate and advanced students. It engages the chest and abdomen without significantly disturbing relaxation in the rest of the body, and it is more effective for keeping people alert than abdominal breathing. Anyone who has a tendency to chronic chest breathing should avoid this for the time being, however. As we saw in chapter 2, the moment chest breathers stray from the tried and true abdominal breathing that is so important at the early stages of their training, t hey will automatically revert to constricted thoracic breathing.

The Theory Underlying Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu Yoga is comprised of three levels of practice. In the first level, Stage One, known as willful practice, students learn how to practice the classic postures of hatha yoga with relaxation, deep breathing, and proper alignment. Poses are held for a relatively short period of time generally three to five flowing breaths (approximately 10 to 20 seconds). Stage One practice strengthens the body, releases chronic tension, engenders an attitude of compassionate self-acceptance, and helps prepare practitioners for deeper practice.

Background and Training of Practitioners

Certification in Kripalu Yoga is provided through a training program offered at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Training programs are offered regularly throughout the year. The Basic Certification program requires intensive residential training. This training can be accomplished either in one full month of training or in a series of three nine-day residential training sessions spaced over a period of about six months. The Basic Certification program prepares individuals to teach Stage One postures. It teaches a detailed understanding of the asanas and pranayama (yogic breathing practices), including benefits and contraindications anatomy and physiology as it relates to yoga practice relaxation and meditation methodology and the history and principles of yoga philosophy. Students practice teaching under supervision. Additional levels of training provide instruction in Stages Two and Three of Kripalu Yoga. It is recommended that candidates for Basic Certification training...

Consider How Well Youre Sleeping

If you wake up agitated in the middle of the night, or if you're suffering from insomnia, try taking the long, slow, yogic breaths we describe in Chapter 4. Or try this technique Lie on your bed with your eyes closed and your hands resting on your belly. As you inhale, feel your belly expand and rise to the ceiling. As you exhale, feel it softly contract, and visualize your belly drawing closer to your spine. By focusing on the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe, you still and soothe your mind. You quiet your thoughts and, in doing so, permit yourself to fall asleep. Deep-belly breathing helps trigger the relaxation response in your brain.

Meditation Rules for Practice

Probably the best way to prevent sleep during meditational practice is to do asanas and pranayama beforehand. These techniques are excellent for inducing heightened wake-fulness. Apart from this, they simultaneously bring about relaxation of the mind-body complex. As such they are powerful tools in obtaining the most from meditational techniques. For this reason we recommend asanas and pranayama as an integral part of your yoga practice program. There are some people who feel exhausted after meditational practice. This is exactly the opposite feeling to that which is to be expected. Meditation should bring about relaxation. If it fails to do this, then it is a sure indication that you are not practising correctly. Most probably you are trying too hard to concentrate, instead of merely being aware and allowing the mind to wander. Don't fight and struggle with the mind as though it is an enemy to be subdued by force. Treat it more as a friend and try to coax it by gentle persuasion....

Meditation practices for removing mental problems

How does mere awareness of this subconscious data remove it from the mind There may be a combination of reasons, but our belief is as follows. To explore the subconscious in the first place there has to be a reasonable degree of relaxation. Without a measure of relaxation a person's attention will remain externalized it cannot go inwards to the inner world of the mind. Therefore, when this subconscious data is recognized you must be in a relaxed state. You have no choice. From your own experience in the external world you will know that when you are relaxed, events or confrontations with situations no longer have the same influence on you, as they would if you are tense. When you are relaxed you automatically see things in a new light. They have less adverse effects on your being. It is the same when you face your subconscious problems during meditational techniques. Besides recognizing them more clearly in the first place, they no longer greatly affect you and because of your state...

Rules for rotating awareness

Complete rotation of awareness through one circuit of the parts of the body is one round. You can practise 1, 2, 3 or more rounds according to the depth of relaxation required and the time available. Try to regard your body as an object that is not part of your being. Feel that the body is outside and separate from yourself, merely an object of study. This too will increase the depth of relaxation.

Different methods of breathing

This type of breathing is associated with the movement of the diaphragm and the outer wall of the abdomen. When relaxed this muscle arches upwards towards the chest. During inhalation it is flattened as it moves downwards, which compresses the abdominal organs and eventually pushes the front wall, the belly, of the abdomen outwards. This movement enlarges the chest cavity, downwards, allowing the lungs to expand and thereby draw in air from the surroundings. Relaxation of the muscles which pull the diaphragm downwards allows the diaphragm to move upwards again to reduce the volume in the chest cavity and thereby cause exhalation. This form of breathing draws in the greatest amount of air for the least muscular effort. It is often hampered, however, by tight belts and clothing which prevent movement of the belly outwards.

How This Book Is Organized

This opening part sets the stage for the discussions and practices that follow and covers some of the fundamentals you need to know before beginning with the postures. In Chapter 1, we explain what Yoga is and clear up some widespread misunderstandings about it. We also introduce the five basic approaches to and twelve principal branches of Yoga and review how these relate to your health and happiness. In Chapter 2, we provide you with down-to-earth practical advice on getting started with your own Yoga practice, showing you how you can make it both safe and effective. In particular, we answer all your questions about participating in a class or practicing on your own. Chapter 3 covers everything you need to do to prepare for a Yoga session, including cultivating the right state of mind. Chapter 4 introduces the art of relaxation, which is fundamental to a successful Yoga practice. In Chapter 5, we explain the importance of correct breathing both during the execution of the Yoga...

S Hackuemhsg Postures

Observe that the leg, thigh, hip, and back muscles all remain relaxed. You are not going anywhere with the isometric lift and pull with the arms you are only creating a mild traction in the back that encourages relaxation. This next variation involves doing the cohra with the lower extremi es completely relaxed, which is a posture that will challenge the concentrat n of even advanced students. Start with your chin on the floor and let) ir feet fall slightly apart into the position in which you will be most rela d (heels in and toes out, or vice versa). Then slowly lift the head and ch -t, monitoring muscles in the lower half of the body to make sure they do t contribute to the lifting effort. This is easy enough at first, but it start to feel unnatural as you rise more fully into the posture. Come up as fai s you can, hold, and then come down slowly. Keep checking to make sure u do not feel a wave of relaxation on your way down, indicating that iu tensed up as you lifted into the...

Mental and physical diseases

The treatment of some diseases will need a more direct physical approach whether from medicine, yogasanas, pranayama or whatever is suitable. The healing system adopted should be one that brings mental relaxation, removal of phobias and any other mental imbalance. In this field, yoga is particularly powerful. It brings wonderful results.

Meditation for Gurprasad

Note There is a slightly different version of the same meditation - time unlimited and the following comments Gurprasad means gift of the Guru . As you practice this meditation, feel yourself showered by all the blessings of heaven - health, wealth, happiness, your ultimate caliber and capacity. Just let it happen. Fill your heart and soul with all the bounties of nature. Simply meditate on the boundless flow of the Universal Soul, and feel a deep inflow of spirit. This is a very restful posture. The subtle pressure against the meridian points in the rib cage gives immediate relaxation.

Suggested Further Resources

We are living in the age in which we witness a tremendous amount of transformation taking place on all levels and in all areas of our lives. As result of it, we are undergoing incredible changes both without and within us which in turn creates stress for our body and mind. Yoga is one of the most effective means to combat the side-effects of fast living and balance the transformation which it carries. In order to live in harmony with the world and himself, every man should do his best to come in touch and reconnect with his body, mind, and the deeper, spiritual aspect of his being. The synthesis of proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, and positive thinking and meditation applied in daily life is a sine qua non for right, harmonious, and joyous living. Men who dedicate some amount of time in the application of these ancient yogic disciplines will certainly regain their health, will have the abundance of energy, and live happily. They will regain their...

The importance of practice

The emphasis will be on your personal practice and effort. Without this, you will never develop sensitivity and awareness to your external and internal surroundings. We will start with the assumption that you know little or nothing about yoga practices. Gradually lesson by lesson the practices will be introduced and developed in step, we hope, with your personal practice and experience. It is absolutely essential to start from the basic practices and slowly but surely proceed to more advanced techniques. Failure to do this can lead to disappointment and disillusionment. For example, many people hear of meditation and try some practices for themselves without sufficient preparation. They sit comfortably, close their eyes and wait for something to happen. Because their eyes are closed they think they are introverted, but actually they are still thinking of the outside world or mulling over their problems. Their minds and consciousness are still in the same rut as they are every day....

Finding the right instructor for you

Get a reference from a friend or health practitioner, and then go and see for yourself. Different people have different personalities and are attracted to different schools of yoga and different yoga instructors. Some like grueling workouts in heated rooms so they fall in puddles of sweat when the classes are over. Others like to leave classes in advanced states of relaxation and repose. Trust your instincts and intuition when you choose a yoga teacher.

Meditation Body Awareness Part

In the preceding topic we explained the necessity of developing awareness. Every thing done in yoga should be done with as much awareness as possible so that we can develop the potential of awareness to the maximum. All yogic practices, whether they are asanas or prana-yama etc., help to progressively increase one's awareness if done in the right way with regular practice and over a period of time. The following technique is very simple and will make you more able to observe and feel the different parts of the body. In a way it is similar to shavasana and can be used to induce relaxation in the same way, just as shavasana is an excellent technique for developing awareness1. The practice we will now describe and shavasana can also really be regarded as meditational techniques. There is no hard and fast division between relaxation techniques, techniques to develop awareness and medita-tional techniques. They all basically aim at the same thing and are interchangeable.

Rules And Exercises Designed To Aid The Candidate In His Initiation

It is well to place yourself in an easy chair, or on a couch, so that you may relax the muscles and free the tension of your nerves. You should be able to let go all over, allowing every muscle to become limp, until a feeling of perfect peace and restful calm permeates every particle of your being. Rest the body and calm the mind. This condition is best in the earlier stages of the practice, although after the Candidate has acquired a degree of mastery he will be able to obtain the physical relaxation and mental calm whenever and wherever he desires.

Chapter Asana Or Posture

A non-conductor of electricity is prescribed as good material to spread on the ground. In olden days a dry grass mat was used, called the Kusa Asana over which a deer-skin, and a cloth, both nonconductors of electricity, were spread. The Gita prescribes that the seat should not be too high or too low. The student may fall down if the seat is very high, and if it is too low, there is the likelihood of insects and reptiles creeping into the seat. The spine, too, should be kept straight. It should be at right angles to the base. One should not be leaning against any support or be bending forward. The reason is that if the spine is straight the nerves get relaxed and no part of the body exerts influence on another part. The flow of the Prana through the nerves is smoothened. If the body is twisted, the Prana has to make effort to flow through the limbs. There is a free movement of energy in the body when the whole system is in a state of relaxation. The Asana...

Befriending Your Body

Between exercises, we pay attention to the effects by feeling the energy and the sensations in our bodies. We often overlook this aspect of our training. Yet it is during the relaxation when we are consciously doing nothing that we can actually listen to our body. This is the optimal time to stay present and let our bodies communicate with us. They have much to share if we would just stop long enough to pay attention, be patient enough to learn their language and be humble enough to give value to the messages.

To be or not to be a vegetarian

This doesn't mean that eating certain types of food will automatically make you calm far from it, for your mental state is mainly dependent on inner conflicts and problems. But eating certain types of food in preference to others is conducive to attaining relaxed states of mind. Deeper relaxation of the mind, however, can only come by cleaning out all the inner dross. So by becoming a vegetarian, we feel that one is laying down a firm foundation for a harmonious and happy life. And this is the stepping stone to higher awareness. This does not mean you cannot attain higher states of awareness if you are non-vegetarian this cannot be true, for some systems use meat as an integral part of their ritual under specific circumstances and there have been meat eating sadhakas, but vegetarianism is a help, though perhaps a small one, in starting to tread the path to higher awareness.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System

Spinal Cord Nerves Uterus

It wasn't until the late 1800s that an anatomically and functionally separate division of the nervous system to the viscera was described. Since it was anatomically separate and yet supplied most of the same organs (fig. 10.4a), it was named the parasympathetic (para alongside) nervous system. It soon became evident, however, that the mode of operation of this accessoiy system was entirely different from that of the sympathetic nervous system. In contrast to the operation of the sympathetic nervous system, relaxation of the parasympathetic nervous system has no meaning except in relation to each organ and each function. In contrast to the sympathetic nervous system, which causes global effects throughout the body, the parasympathetic nervous system is organ-specific. With only a few exceptions such as regulation of the heart and lungs, it does not balance the sympathetic nervous system. Nor does it become generally active or inactive as does the sympathetic nervous system. It presides...

Meditation Japa Part

Incidentally, each mantra is inseparably associated with a definite symbol or form. Therefore, if your mind attains a deep state of relaxation and one-pointedness and receptivity, and if the whole mind is filled with the sound of the mantra, then the specific psychic symbol will spontaneously arise to conscious perception. In this way, you will find out the exact form or symbol of your mantra.

Supta Baddha Konasana Reclining Cobbler Pose

Cobbler Pose

Supta baddha konasana, or Reclining Cobbler Pose (supta means sleeping or reclining ) is a variation of the seated Cobbler Pose. This pose can be even more relaxing than the seated Cobbler Pose. In fact, one yoga teacher I know playfully refers to this pose as Goddess Pose because of the luxurious sense of relaxation and ease it can give. If you have difficulty sitting on the floor with your back erect, or if you'd like to practice Cobbler Pose in a different way, try Reclining Cobbler Pose. Reclining Cobbler Pose is a great yoga asana to do when you may just be relaxing at home even while watching television. Not only will you be deepening your level of relaxation, you'll be doing something very healthy to keep your male organs and reproductive gear in top working order.

Tension the outcome of mental programming

Our attitude towards life depends on our mind an unsuitable, narrow, unrealistic, incompatible mental state leads to continual conflict with our surroundings and to unhappi-ness and stress as a consequence. An expansive, realistic mental program leads to harmonious interaction and good relationships with the environment and with other people, which must lead to happiness and relaxation. Our lives can either be an expression ofjoy or an expression of discontent it depends on the content of the mind. .Are we then completely at the mercy of our mind Yes, we are, but at the same time we have the ability to throw out the contents of the mind that cause so much havoc in our lives. We can change our mental program or at least modify it by removing all the dross or unwanted parts. All that is required is the desire to reorientate our life along new pathways and to translate this desire into personal effort. The eventual method is by exploring the mind, facing the inner contents and clearing...

Savasana also called Mrtasana

In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But-it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore, this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.

Basic features of ajapa

Relaxation of mind and body Relaxation of the mind and body is essential before starting the practice. To achieve this you can do a series of asanas and pranayama and or you can chantAum a number of times. Adopt any suitable method. As a means to become aware of the contents of your subconscious mind, you should periodically stop ajapa and do chidakasha dharana for a short duration. The method of stage 2 is as follows Take a comfortable sitting position. Perform the same preliminary relaxation procedures as described for stage l3. Chant Aum a number of times, say 13 times.

Meditation Anuloma Viloma and Prana Shuddhi

In the previous lesson we introduced you to a meditational technique which utilized awareness of the breath as a means for inducing relaxation, introversion and eventually (we hope) a meditative state1. In this topic we will develop the same theme by describing two methods called anuloma viloma and prana shuddhi, which also require breath awareness.

Much ado about nothing

Just for a minute or so, close your eyes. What do you see You should see a space in front of your closed eyes. It is something you have seen many times before, but have probably never paid much attention to it. The space may be black, it may be dark orange or it may be any other colour. But there should be a space, ether or a firmament in front of your closed eyes. It may seem rather insignificant. This is the mind screen. It is on this screen that you will, with sufficient practice and relaxation, see the most incredible psychic events - events that you never dreamed were taking place within, you. Watch and see for yourself by doing meditational practices. At first you will see nothing for you will be too tense. You may not see anything for many months, but there will come a time when you will be suddenly confronted with the most incredible psychic film show you have ever seen.

Dhanur-akarshan-asana Posture Archer Benefits

Gomukhasana is an excellent asana for inducing relaxation. If you feel tired, tense or worried then we strongly suggest that you practise gomukhasana for at least ten minutes. It helps to greatly ease away tension. For this reason, it has been found very useful for helping to relieve ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sexual malfunctions. Gomukhasana directly helps to remove stiffness in the spine, neck and shoulders. It also develops the chest and improves breathing.

Shashankasana Benefits In Adrenaline

This helps give our mental and physical constitution more stability. Cortisone is another major hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This has been found to be closely associated with the occurrence of rheumatism. Bhujangasana helps to maintain and encourage the correct secretion of this hormone and has been found very useful in alleviating rheumatism.

Using Mudras To Heal Physical Complaints

Everyone who has been involved with the healing effect of the mudras emphasizes that a sensible lifestyle and diet must absolutely be taken into consideration. An unhealthy lifestyle usually consists of inferior diet, lack of exercise, and too little fresh air, rest, and relaxation coupled with too much stress, worry, negative thoughts, and negative feelings. Practicing the mudras, together with a healthy diet, routine rest periods, adequate exercise (yoga, jogging, hiking, biking, etc.) will naturally lead to an optimal lifestyle. And this is the basis for health. (Also see Appendix A.)

Pranayama Nadi Shodhana Stage

So far in the first two stages of nadi shodhana pranayama we have described alternate manipulation and control of breath through the two nostrils'. In other words, the aim has been to direct the flow of breath through each of the nostrils separately. There are various good reasons for these practices. Firstly, the ability to control inhalation and exhalation is increased and the breathing rate is decreased at will. From this comes improved respiration, which results in more vitality and better health, as well as greater calmness in daily life situations. Remember that the breathing rate is directly related to emotions. In general, fast unrhythmical breathing is associated with anxiety, anger and other debilitating, negative emotions, while slow, rhythmical breathing is connected with relaxation, friendship, well being and other positive emotions. Practice of stages 1 and 2 nadi shodhana pranayama can help to bring about a more harmonious attitude and way of life.

Bronchiolar Dilation And Constriction

Breathing and relaxation go hand in hand. As we have seen, respirat n slows down naturally during the course of relaxation, and under carel ly Relaxation also has an impact on how easdy air moves through the r- a short relaxation, build quickly into abdominal exercises and vigorous standing poses, proceed to postures done sitting and lying on the floor, continue with inverted postures, and end with a final relaxation. When you start, your airways are slightly constricted, corresponding to decreased activity in the sympathetic nervous system and increased activity in the parasympathetic input to the lungs. Then as you do more vigorous postures, the sympathetic nervous system prevails and the airways open. As you quiet down in your final relaxation, your bronchiolar tree constricts but remains open enough to accommodate air flow. It should now be apparent that anyone who wants to master relaxation must have a full repertoire of breathing practices. If airflow is unimpeded, you can stick...

Meditation Antar Mouna Stage

Regular practice of antar mouna brings about a gradual release of pent-up mental tension and suppressed emotions. This in turn leads to more relaxation at a pranic and physical level. That is, relaxation of the mind leads to the removal of blockages in the pranic channels of the body the flow of prana is allowed to circulate to every part of the body without impediment. There is a progressive removal of chronic muscular tensions. Organs such as the digestive organs are allowed to function more efficiently, unhindered by turmoil in the mind. The endocrinal system begins to function smoothly without being continually overloaded. In this manner, physical and pranic disorders can be gradually alleviated. The whole body finds its lost state of good health and becomes infused with a new level of vitality. There are many benefits to be gained by including the practice of antar mouna as part of your daily life.

The Sympathetic Nervous System

The idea of the sympathetic nervous system goes back almost 2000 years, to Galen, who believed and taught that this complex of nerves permitted animal spirits to travel from one organ to another, creating sympathy among them. Here we are especially concerned with the sympathetic nervous system as a part of what we now recognize as the autonomic nervous system (chapter 2 and figs. io.4a-b) because the sympathetic component is generally sedated by breathing and relaxation techniques. It activates the body globally when it is stimulated and it quiets the body down globally afterward. Stress is its stimulant, and preparation for fight or flight is its response. To that end it speeds the heart rate, opens the bronchial tree, stimulates the release of glucose from the liver, dilates the pupils, constricts arterioles in the digestive system and skin, dilates arterioles in the heart, and contracts sphincters in the gastrointestinal tract and in the urethra. All of these responses act together...

Removal of mental problems

You should clearly understand (perhaps it is better to find out for yourself) that the language of the subconscious mind is not words - it is the language of symbols, of psychic symbols. The subconscious mind speaks in symbols, whether it is through dreams or during the practice of meditative techniques such as chidakasha dharana. Subconscious problems are stored, so to say, in the mind in the form of symbols. When one confronts these symbols in a state of relaxed awareness, then they can be removed. The reader should take note that we did not say that the symbols should be confronted in a state of relaxation, for this means sleep to most people, and one's subconscious problems can never be eradicated during sleep. The symbols must be faced in a state of relaxation combined with awareness. You must be fully awake when you confront these psychic manifestations. This is the role of chidakasha dharana. possible. This indifference and lack of emotional response to these psychic visions in...

Chair yoga practice continued

The sequence of poses in Relaxation Practice will help to relax your body and mind. You may want to perform this practice just before you go to bed to release any stress you may be feeling and prepare yourself for sleep. Performing Relaxation Practice may lower your body temperature, so you may want to wear an extra layer of clothing. Before you begin Relaxation Practice, you should perform Reclined Warm-Up Sequence shown on page 254. You should also take a few minutes to To perform Relaxation Practice, you will need three blankets and a bolster. Make sure these props are readily accessible so you do not need to go searching for them during the middle of your practice. After you complete Relaxation Practice, you should spend 5 to 15 minutes in Relaxation Pose as shown on page 242.

Kriya Yoga An Introduction

Concentration is something that occurs spontaneously in a very relaxed mind and body. Until relaxation is achieved, concentration, real concentration that is, remains impossible. A system is required which progressively leads a person to deeper states of relaxation, until concentration becomes the spontaneous activity of consciousness. This system is the system of kriya yoga. Before we talk about kriya yoga, let us briefly discuss where concentration, relaxed concentration that is, will lead us. The fruit or culmination of deep one-pointed concentration is the occurrence of the spontaneous state of meditation. Most people have heard of meditation, yet very few people have actually experienced it. It arises only under conditions of almost abnormal relaxation (yes, abnormal is the right word, for most people never experience deep states of relaxation even during sleep they are plagued by subconscious worries, phobias, fears, etc.) of both mind and body, together with a high state of...

When the Easiest Is the Hardest

On the other hand, not only is relaxation a true challenge for many, but shavasana has a strong mental component, without which you aren't truly practicing shavasana. Just as you can hold the lotus pose perfectly without truly practicing yoga, you can certainly lie in what appears to be a perfect shavasana without coming close to a yogic

Technique Anuloma Viloma

This technique is an excellent method that is normally classified as a meditational technique9. It brings balance of ida and pingala through mental suggestion. One imagines that the breath flows alternately through the two nostrils in turn. At first they will probably be unequal, but after some time the mental suggestion and imagination will bring about the change physically. At the same time, the practice will induce deep states of relaxation, but without being lost in a stream of thoughts and psychic pictures. This is a simple practice that has a notable feature compared to most other meditative techniques while inducing relaxation, it simultaneously brings balance between ida and pingala, so that one does not become lost in thoughts or sleep. The very mechanics of the practice is such that ida and pingala are automatically balanced.

Eyeing the many applications of eye bags

Eye bags, also called eye pillows, are small bags filled with light materials (usually plastic pellets) that yogis and yoginis use for various relaxation techniques. Although an eye bag may seem self-explanatory, there's actually more to eye bags than meets the, well, eye. They of course block light and other visual stimuli, which helps quiet the brain they also put gentle pressure on your eyes, which slows your heart rate. You can just cover your eyes with a towel, but the effect isn't quite the same.

Our Inner Journey Tuning In

The practice of Kundalini yoga will automatically facilitate our alignment. However, the actual performance of the exercises or asanas is only half of our practice. The other half is the development of our awareness. We must practice focusing our mind on what we are feeling, thinking and experiencing in order to cultivate a deeper experience of reality and ourselves. It is through our mental focus that we develop our sensitivities to energies. It is through our attention that are able to participate in the process of our own alignment, healing and relaxation. It is by listening that we hear the voice of our soul, our intuition and receive the answers to our prayers.

Pranayama Practice

Pranayama, therefore, has a direct influence on reducing tension. This does not mean that deep and controlled breathing will instantaneously remove all your problems, but that it will help to induce relaxation this will, in turn, help you to face and understand your deeper problems. It is worthwhile pointing out that mental tension tends to cause tightness in the muscles of the abdomen, chest and stomach. Pranayama practices accentuate the movements of these parts of the body and loosen them up. This, in turn, induces a degree of physical and mental relaxation.

Outline of the course

Asanas-, large numbers of asanas are included from pawanmuktasana, pre-meditational, meditational, forward bending, backward bending, spinal twist, relaxation, balancing, inverted, dynamic and advanced groups. Full information will be given on the limitations, benefits, counterposes and background of each practice.

Asanas Meditative Asanas

One might assume that relaxation asanas, such as shavasana would therefore be the most ideal for they require absolutely no effort2. I n fact, they can be used for meditational practices but we don't recommend them because it is so easy to relax to such a degree that one falls asleep. And sleep is as far away from meditation as tension. What is required is a high state of relaxation combined with intensified wake-fulness. The sages in the past found, from experience, that there are specific asanas most suitable in this respect. There are six of these, known as the classical meditational asanas

The Root Cause of Tension

In this and the previous lesson we have outlined simple but effective methods of inducing temporary states of relaxation1. Remember, these short-term relaxation practices are essential in order to rest and revitalize the entire body and mind. During these periods of calmness and clear-mindedness we are able to take a more realistic look at life. When we are relaxed we are able to laugh at situations that only half an hour before made our blood boil we realize that our neighbour, who only a short time before had made us extremely angry, is not such a bad person after all. When we become relaxed we can see the same situations in a new light. And this more understanding approach helps to bring about positive changes in our life. We clearly see the problems that cause us disruption and work out new ways of coming to terms with our environment. (This process occurs subconsciously providing we are conscious of the factors involved.) This helps to give us a more relaxed and understanding...

Yoga nidra and mental illness

During sufficiently deep states of relaxation one starts to confront visions, subconscious memories, childhood traumas and so forth. The process can be called conscious dreaming. You may see demons, dragons, ghosts, but mostly things stranger than fiction, and certainly too strange for words to describe. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes very unpleasant, they represent the conflicts of your mind. You have to be a witness. Feel that these visions are separate from yourself. In this way, they will not be re-suppressed.

Mental problems and illness

A far reaching conclusion to convey to medical science. His revelation caused a stir at the meeting. He said that he had been using radiology for many years in the treatment of cancer patients. Because of the widespread occurrence of cancer, thousands of patients besieged him seeking a cure. He of course could not treat them all at the same time and so he was forced to make many of them wait for treatment, often for several weeks. Some of the people were suffering great pain. The usual method of combating this pain is administration of drugs. To reduce this dependence on drugs, the radiologist recommended that the patients relieve their pain by practising relaxation and meditational techniques. To his great surprise many of these people showed marked improvement in their state of health. His conclusion, which he presented to the members of the symposium, was obvious the cause of cancer lies in the mind, nowhere else. We would also like to add one point many people claim that the cause...

The fundamental mechanics of meditation practice

The next step is to try to achieve calmness of mind and relaxation. Most people have a mind that is like a stormy sea. Before we can see below the surface we must first of all settle down the tumultuous waves. This is done through awareness. In other words, we try to be aware of one object, symbol or process of thought. This takes practice, but eventually it is possible to focus the awareness on one thing to the exclusion of all others. This one-pointed attention allows the awareness to pierce and enter the various depths of the mind. A dull Many people try to concentrate too hard in order to meditate. However, concentration does not come easily or spontaneously to a disturbed mind. Therefore, to try to attain concentration they strain themselves instead of becoming relaxed and calm, they actually create more tension. Under these circumstances it is impossible to meditate. For this reason we don't advise people to concentrate intently. Instead, we ask them to be aware of an object or...

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This is an audio all about guiding you to relaxation. This is a Relaxation Audio Sounds with sounds from the Babbling Brooks.

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