When the body and mind are continually overworked and stressed, their natural efficiency diminishes. Rest and relaxation are nature’s way to recharge the body. Yogic methods retrain the mind and muscles to relax completely.
Certain forms of exercises increase energy but cause the muscles to tense so much that we are unable to relax them even at night, creating a constant energy drain, thus defeating the very purpose.
Yoga asanas are a technique to retrain the muscles; for them to relax. Those who are regular at asana practice find that they need less sleep and feel more rested. So even with a challenging asana practice the body uses the technique of conscious lengthening and relaxation of the muscles, leaving one in a restful, balanced state.
Traditionally, ‘Sthira, Sukham, Asanam’, meaning steady, comfortable, posture is what a practitioner is encouraged to achieve. So even with an advanced asana practice, one comes out feeling centered and relaxed. Shavasana or the corpse posture, mandatory at the end of every practice, further enhances relaxation of the muscles, joints and the entire nervous system. ‘Relaxation in Action’, is the most appropriate way of describing any authentic Yoga practice.
A constantly overworked mind in today’s age, becomes overloaded and exhausted. Unknowingly by thinking and worrying we use up tremendous amounts of energy. With mental stress, the energy resources are strained often resulting in the wear and tear of the physical body as well. The practice of Yogic breathing and meditation helps to calm the mind using our own thought power.
‘It’s all in the mind’, is a fabulous phrase which explains the very essence of human actions! Yoga deals with the mastery over the mind, which is one of it’s crucial aspects, for a relaxed mind can achieve wonders!
Breathe in, breathe out, let go, relax and come back next week!
Neelanjana Bharadwaj – Yoga Expert