September 21, 2013

Relaxation 101

If attaining peace of mind were as simple as reminding ourselves to relax whenever we feel agitated, the majority of us would be blissed-out most of the time. Like any other worthwhile skill, though, relaxation takes practice.

Thankfully, yoga can be a good training ground for cultivating this fine art. And the skills we learn in our yoga practice can support us in the rest of our lives, helping us manage stressful times with clarity and balance.

Exhale. One of the best ways to bring yourself back down to earth is to lengthen your exhalations. This form of breathing—as prescribed in the Yoga Sutra—encourages the nervous system to become calm and quiet, moving the body into a more restful state of being.

Focus your mind. Sometimes when the world sends us spinning, we want to do nothing more than drop into an easy chair and stare into space. But this approach often gives the brain free rein to continue its obsessive and agitated thinking. Instead, try focusing your mind in a constructive and engaging way: Practice a challenging asana or an absorbing breathing exercise.


IN THIS ISSUE

Relaxation 101

http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/988

Beginner's Bliss

http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1064


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