Imagine yourself in a peaceful Ashram environment— deepening your yoga practice day by day, surrounded by positive energy and beauty, eating three delicious, organic meals a day, and finding balance within yourself. Feel your mind and body start to relax. Relaxation helps release tension in the muscular and nervous systems, quieten the mind, and increase concentration. Many of our problems stem from our inability to relax fully. People typically wait until vacations and weekends to try to relax. But what about in our day-to-day lives? How do we relax in a highly stressful and emotionally charged world?
There are various forms of relaxation techniques in yoga, many of which are simple yet incredibly powerful. Visualization, as you sampled at the start of this post, is one of them and can be very effective. In the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course in Thailand at the Wise Living Yoga Academy, students learn to lead relaxation yoga sessions.
During the relaxation session, students perform a sequence of asanas. The main ones are Nishpandabhava (No Movement Feeling), Dradhasana (Firm Pose), and Shavasana (Corpse Pose). In Nishpandabhava, students recline against a wall with feet comfortably apart and hands loose on their thighs. They then direct their attention to sounds around them but without any reaction or judgment. They remain passive and motionless, thereby promoting introspection and countering anxiety and the need to control their surroundings.
In Dradhasana, students lie on one side using the arm on the same side as a pillow and draping the other arm on top of their bodies. When done on the right hand side, this pose aids the natural flow of the digestive process and is especially great after a meal. Students relax in this pose before rolling over onto their backs for Shavasana. The leader guides them to focus on different parts of the body, starting with the toes and moving up to the crown of the head: “Give awareness to your toes, and relax them” and so on.
A 200-hour YTT student guiding others in Shavasana
Asanas for relaxation help practitioners let go physically, mentally, and emotionally. They become aware of body parts that may be neglected or hold too much tension throughout the day and then consciously relax them. Practitioners are encouraged to practice relaxation at home or even in workplaces, and start to notice positive changes in their energy levels and mood.
Stay tune for more information on Yoga philosophy and practices! Namaste!