Yogic Relaxation for Stress Relief
By Leila El Krekshi
Conscious relaxation rejuvenates and harmonizes the body and mind. As difficult as it may be to find time for relaxation, there are plenty of reasons to do it. Most important, you’ll feel better and more grounded. Even spending 5 to 10 minutes with your eye closed can calm your nerves, and relieve sensations of being tired.
However there other benefits to having a regular deep relaxation practice. You ll feel more positive and will bring your best self to the day.
When it comes to stress management, relaxation techniques offer you the possibility to transform a stressful reaction into one that is easier to manage. These relaxation techniques, if done regularly including conscious breathing can have a profound effect of your well-being.
The following yogic relaxation sequence, can be done anytime during the day, but we recommend it after lunch for improved relaxation or at the end of a long day. If you only have 5 to 10 minutes time we advise you to just go into shavasana pose, which is a pose that can calm your nerves, and refresh your energy.
During Nishpandabhava one sits motionless and feeling quiet, keeping attention to rhythmic sounds of low intensity until the mind gets completely absorbed. If you are outside, you can focus on the different elements of nature surrounding, the sound of leaves, the waves, birds singing and so on. Observe these elements, acknowledge them and let go, being at ease.
- Sit relaxed, placing your back against the wall, with legs stretched and comfortably apart.
- Palms facing up on your thighs, and your feet are slight apart and relaxed.
- Close your eyes, and be still with no movement.
- Direct your attention towards the fading sounds, remain passive, and allow yourself to become absorbed in the sound for at least 10 minutes, breathing in and out comfortably.
Dradhasana pose is beneficial for digestion, eases breathing movement, and helps with anxiety and stress.
- Now slowly slide down to the floor, laying on the right side and continue to be in the state of relaxation with your eyes closed.
- Use your right arm as a pillow for your head and left arm rests on your thighs.
- Breath in and breath out, relax, maintaining this posture for two minutes.
One of the best posture for relaxation is shavasana, as it enhances the body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate.
- Gently move your body to shavasana (corpse pose)
- Now bring your attention to the normal flow of your breath. Feel the air gently flowing through your nostrils as you breathe in and breathe out.
- As you inhale, become aware of your breath as it fills your lungs, abdomen rises. As you exhale, continue to breathe through your nose, as abdomen goes in, air naturally leaving your lungs. Relax and allow the conscious breath to flow effortlessly as you inhale and exhale.
- As you breathe in, feel your body expand, and on the exhalation, sense your body sinking into the earth, letting go of all tensions, discomfort, and negativity.
- Relax your muscles, soften your feet, thighs and hips. Bring you attention to your back, let go of any tensions around your spine and begin to feel a gentle warmth as the back rests against the floor.
- Soften the abdomen as it rises and falls with the breath.
- Relax your chest and let go of any tension, negative emotions in that area as you breathe out
- Soften the shoulders, the arms, the neck and the face and you consciously continue to breathe in and out.
- As your muscles relax, the brain becomes more quiet as the nerve impulses traveling to and from them decrease. Gradually the tensions in your body and mind get released.
- Stay in the pose for about 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll begin to notice that distracting or stressful thoughts are slowly fading away and becoming less important.
- Now slowly become aware of your body, by gently moving your fingers and toes, sway your lower back side to side to feel more at ease,
- Move to the right side, and slowly come up keeping your eyes closed to a comfortable seated position.
- While in the seated position do some self reflection. Think about three positive things about you, then gently remind yourself of a negative habit you have, and how you can transform it to positivity.
- Gently open your eyes. After such relaxation , try to spend few minutes in silence before getting back into your routine.