Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yoga Poses for Relaxation

500 hour hatha yoga instructor certification course
By Sangeetha Saran

As a Yoga teacher, you may see the value of relaxation much differently than your students.  During a Yoga instructor training intensive, interns learn the higher values of meditation and relaxation. In every part of the world, there is too much anxiety, stress, and suffering.   

Much of the public's images of Yoga are very relaxing. In their imaginations, they may see an idyllic setting for practicing Yoga; white sand beaches caressed by gentle lapping waves and palm trees swaying in the tropical ocean breeze. The Yoga studio itself may be constructed of gleaming wood native to the region and adorned with only eco-friendly materials. In “real life” our Yoga school may consist of just enough space in our office or on the living room floor to roll out a mat. 

The reality is that many of us practice diligently every day, but we often tend to focus on Yoga practices that are strenuous and challenging in nature. Frequently, the softer, more Yin asanas are skipped over and not valued as highly. However, restorative asanas help to deeply elongate muscles and ligaments that may not be targeted as effectively by a Yang or Power Yoga practice. 

Restorative asanas also help to reduce stress, anxiety and lower blood pressure. Longer holds allow the body and mind to truly relax and let go. Seated forward folding asanas are particularly good for promoting a feeling of introversion, rest and relaxation. Supported Forward Folding Straddle Pose is a wonderfully relaxing Yoga asana that deeply stretches the inner thighs, hamstrings and lower back muscles. 

Supported Forward Folding Straddle Pose

To practice Forward Folding Straddle Pose in a restorative fashion, you will need a Yoga block. If you do not have a block, piling several books on top of each other until the pile reaches a height of six to twelve inches will work just fine. It is most optimal to practice Support Forward Folding Straddle Pose toward the end of your Yoga practice. If you only have time for a short Yoga session today, please warm-up first for ten to fifteen minutes with a series of Sun Salutations. When you are warmed up, come to a seated position on your Yoga mat. 

Spread your legs in a comfortable straddle position. Keep your feet flexed and your toes pointed towards the sky. Place your block or pile of books on the mat in front of you, equidistant from both legs and far enough in front of you so that you can comfortable rest your forehead on the block. With your next exhale, come forward and rest your forehead on the block. Gently extend your arms out in front of you. Hold this pose for ten to fifteen complete breaths. With each inhale, breathe in fresh, revitalizing oxygen.  With each exhale, release the tension of the day. 

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Henry Desouza said...

Hey, Sangeetha. I want to learn yoga for relaxation. Work of whole day creates mental stress and I won't relax from that. And I am also searching the way for relaxation.

Marina J said...

When your mind is able to concentrate fully on your yoga practice the unification of body, mind, and spirit takes place. This is the beneficial intention of practicing yoga. There are many situations where you may be struggling with problems and are continuously thinking about them.

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