Monday, 27 February 2012

'Don't tell me to relax!'

Life can be really annoying right?  So, I'm guessing that the last thing you want to hear is a yoga teacher telling you to relax, chill out, it's all going to be okay?

Well, as bad as it may seem, it really is going to be alright.

We are no strangers to modern day stress.  Our current financial climate has had a  demoralising effect on our nation’s workforce and the continual spew of negative media headlines only feeds our fears for the future.  This pressure puts our home life and our personal health under attack!  

How to cope?  Well, most of us want to bury the stress and try to ignore any physical signs that the body is in overload.  Re-occurring headaches, backache, addictions to food and alcohol are just a few examples of the inner self sending us warning signs.  We all know what happens...and it's not a fun place to be.

Yoga is the answer.  Chocolate comes in at a very close second but sadly it never lasts, whereas Yoga is a loyal friend. 

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union’ – the union of the mind and the body.  The key to that union is the breath, which the yogis call pranayama. Roughly translated this means correct breathing.  Most of the time we ignore the breath and it becomes shallow and weak.  This can send the body into an agitated, anxious state and creates tension that eventually affects us energetically.

With regular practise yoga and pranayama techniques will help calm the mind of busy thoughts.  This has a soothing effect on the nervous system and the body begins to respond.  Our posture improves.  We begin to stand taller to allow the breath deep into the lungs and this simple action re aligns the body taking tension away from problem areas such as the neck, back, hips and knees. We begin to feel better!

Me, my stress and I

When I step onto my yoga mat, I practise stepping out of my busy self and into a peaceful, neutral space.  I take a few deep breaths and then, using my pranayama techniques, I connect with an energy that I believe nurtures and heals me.  Focusing deeply on my yogic breathing, I move through the sequence of postures, gently releasing any tension held within the physical, mental and emotional aspects of myself.

At the end of my yoga practice, I sit and enjoy the lightness within and about me, a deep inner peace that is without judgement or expectation of myself or others. This is where the magic happens in yoga and it is a very powerful healing tool.

Try this simple breathing exercise

Close your eyes and fill the lungs with breath, then slowly let the breath out across your lips.  Repeat as many times as necessary.  On the inhalation imagine that you are coming back to centre, drawing positive energy back into the body and on the exhalation imagine you are letting go of any tension or stress you may have picked up. Repeat until you feel whole again, centred and calm.  

So please... relax, chill out, it's all going to be okay....x

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  1. Brilliant blog, thank you! I find it's easy to forget to relax when there's lots to do even though I know it's so important for my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Relaxing almost becomes another thing on the 'to do' list which is crazy. Note to self: come to your yoga class!

    1. Thank you so much Sally! Really lovely to have such positive are welcome to come to class, anytime!