By Gopi Rao
Yogic relaxation techniques are easy to perform and beneficial to the mind and body by bringing about relaxation. Below are three variations, but there are many more that you might find useful for teaching Yoga training sessions or for practicing at home. If you want to become a Yoga teacher, it is wise to be familiar with them because they serve as a bridge for students who have difficulty with meditation.
Instant Yoga Relaxation Technique
The instant relaxation technique is performed by bringing your legs together, joining the heels and toes together with palms of your hands by your side. Maintain a relaxed and smiling face throughout. Contract muscles beginning with your toes, then contract joints in the ankles and tighten the calf muscles.
Contract muscles in the thighs and then the buttocks. Exhale and then pull in the abdomen muscles. Make fists, contract the forearm flexors, and tighten the upper arms. Inhale and expand the back and chest. Tighten the shoulders, neck and facial muscles.
Tighten all the muscles in the body from your toes all the way up to your head and hold for a few moments. Then relax your muscles and entire body. Part the arms and legs, with palms facing the ceiling. Choose the most comfortable position and let the body sink down. Allow all the muscle groups to relax. Relax your whole body and enjoy the relaxation.
Quick Yoga Relaxation Technique
The quick relaxation technique begins with the position of Shavasana or the corpse pose. It has three phases. The first phase begins by perceiving the abdominal movements. Observe the movement of abdominal muscles as you breathe in and out.
Complete this phase with five cycles. The next phase involves coordinating the movement of the abdomen muscles with breathing. The abdomen moves up with inhalation, and down with exhalation for five cycles. The third phase involves breathing deeply and slowly so as to energize the body and give you sense of lightness.
As you exhale, completely collapse all the muscles and enjoy the relaxation for five cycles. Chant “Aum” in a low tone as you slowly exhale while feeling the vibrations in your lower body. Slowly come up from either the right or left side of the body.
Deep Yogic Relaxation Technique (Stage-by-Stage)
The deep relaxation technique works by stimulating parts of the brain with physical movement. The body is relaxed part by part starting at the toes and moving all the way up to the scalp and actually the brain. The subconscious mind begins to surface when the process of mental relaxation affects the whole surface of the brain, harmonizing the brain waves.
You will begin to float between consciousness and deep relaxation. You are then a witness to your thoughts, breath, and body. You can remain in this witness state as long as you choose. You should consult a qualified Yoga teacher before practicing this technique, since it requires guidance.
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