People practice yoga for a variety of reasons. Many yoga practitioners are interested in the health benefits that come from regularly performing the routines. Others want a state of harmony between inner and outer self. Still others practice yoga primarily to relax. The majority of my students adore the relaxation benefits.
A State of Harmony
The profound relaxation available through yoga includes a state of clarity of mind, and of compassion, harmony with and understanding of the world and your fellow men and women. If such a state of relaxation is your goal, you will need to use most of the yoga techniques available. Pay special attention to breathing, diet, correctly performing the exercises, and meditating.
The deep, prolonged breath one learns through yoga helps the brain stay oxygenated, which contributes to mental clarity. Diet influences the structure of our body as well as our brain. The exercises (called asanas and pranayamas) were developed thousands of years ago to produce beneficial results.
To have the desired effects, yoga routines must be carried out correctly. Poor yoga practices will likely produce disappointing results.
The Keys to the Kingdom of Peace
Your attitude and your focus are the keys to making your yoga experience deeply satisfying. Entering the profound stage of relaxation and synchronization between your inner and your outer self can occur only with appropriate practice.
Relaxation is actually a necessary part of every yoga routine. The body needs to relax after practicing the exercises, especially the more demanding ones. Certain asanas require an unusual positioning of the body, which can result in discomfort if the relaxation stage is omitted.
Yoga connects the spiritual and material worlds, and relaxation is the bridge that brings the practitioner back fully to the present reality.
As a general rule, during relaxation exercises, you will lie down comfortably and meditate. Your yoga teacher will suggest ways for you to gradually move and position your feet and arms. Yoga routines may have different relaxation exercises, but they all have the purpose of cushioning the shock of contact with the surrounding reality. Relaxation also helps to maintain a tremendous degree of peacefulness created by the practice.
But talk is never enough. The only way to be sure of the relaxation benefits of yoga is to try it yourself. The only thing you have to lose is your stress, anxiety, pain and suffering. Oh yeah!
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