I completed my Relax and Renew Teacher training in 2012. The motto was: 20 minutes relaxation a day would make the world a better place!
The more stress we experience, the more its effects compound within us. When the stress becomes chronic a residue builds up in the body that can lead to disease. Common to all stress reduction techniques is putting the body in a comfortable position, with gentle attention directed toward the breath. The benefit of relaxing the body is reduction in muscle tension and improved circulation.
Restorative yoga allows the parasystematic nervous system to relax, the opposite of the fight or flight response.
The simple poses below are easy to practice, in your home or in a hotel room if you are travelling. If you do them in the morning you will start your calmer, if you practice in the evening you will have a more restful sleep. I do these poses usually in the evening.
Turn off your computer and mobile one hour before going to sleep as the blue light emitted from these screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm) to a later schedule.
Poses to relax
Props provide a supportive environment and help the body the open, think of opening the chest, openings the hips. We hold a lot of tension in our hips, especially women.
Aim to keep your attention on your breath. Notice the rythmical rise and fall of your abdominal, notice how your rib-cage opens. In yoga we breath through our nose (unless the nose is blocked). Try counting, say for 4 to inhale and 4 for exhale. If you can extend the exhalation for the count of 6 or maybe 8. If it does not feel right for you return to your normal breathing.
Supta Badha Konasana
Substitute the bolster with a folded blanket and use books for elevation
Savasana (pose of the corpse) means staying still. If you have a back lower problem use a bolster or folded blanket under your thigh and knees