Yoga Practice Promotes Relaxation
What is your idea of relaxation? If you think it involves engaging in pleasurable activities by yourself or with your loved ones, then you are not alone. Mention the word “relax” and what immediately comes to mind are movies, television, music, trips to the beach, and night out with friends.
These activities – which fall under the method known as diverting attention – are what we typically associate with relaxation.
But did you know that there is another way for your mind and body to reach a state of relaxation? Instead of merely engaging in external activities to distract ourselves from becoming conscious of our thoughts, a better way of attaining relaxation is by teaching ourselves the skill of directly relaxing. What this entails is training your mind to focus on your self – on your thoughts, your body’s movements, or your breathing. With yoga practice, you can train yourself to use this method in order to reach a state of mind and body relaxation. Here are techniques you need to know.
The ABCs Of Relaxation
Attention and breath are among the most important aspects of the relaxation stage in yoga practice. Training our thoughts towards our inner self and willing ourselves to be conscious of our breathing naturally brings us to a state of relaxation. When these two aspects are present, your mind and body seamlessly and effortlessly become relaxed.
Remove Clutter From Your Mind
This is where many of us had it wrong. When we relax by seeking out an activity, we are in effect distracting our minds from our inner self instead of training it to relax and become attuned to our thoughts. Remember that what we need to do is to teach the mind to reach the state of relaxation by using our mind itself. Distractions and other means are utterly superfluous and would only serve to keep us restless.
By admitting to ourselves that our minds are free and restless, we are actually training it in the best possible manner. For this, you need to keep your mind busy with an internal activity, not an external one.
Be In The Moment
Directing our thoughts on reality is another important technique in this stage of yoga practice. Yoga is a philosophy that teaches that it is indispensable to train our thoughts on the present, on what is happening within our minds and bodies. It focuses on what we are currently experiencing, thinking, and feeling rather than train our thoughts on some fantasy or event far removed from us.
Acknowledging that we have a restless mind will give our minds the opportunity to engage in an internal activity which is actually happening at the very moment.
You can either choose to survey slowly or quickly, depending on your state of mind at the moment. If your mind is restless, you should pace yourself at higher speeds because only then can you keep your mind relaxed and happy. The most important thing is to pace yourself in a comfortable manner. Once your mind is not very preoccupied, you can choose to lower your pace to bring your mind to a calmer and relaxed state.
In sum, keep these principles in mind:
- Acknowledge that we have a restless mind.
- In order to fully come to a relaxed state, it is crucial for us to train our minds the skill of self-awareness, not merely content ourselves with external diversions.
- Decide on a destination of your thoughts.
- Adjust the speed at which your mind turns its attention unto various focal points.
- Breathe normally.
If you want to learn more about how yoga can aid relaxation, read Yoga For Stress Reduction and Yoga Meditation For Busy People.