Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Think yoga is gruelling? Here are five asanas perfect for restoration, relaxation and healing


Begin by finding a comfortable seat and cross your legs, with your ankles crossed in front of you and knees resting slightly below the hips. You can place a pillow underneath to help elevate the hips and ease any discomfort. Taking a deep breath, with a long spine, open chest and relaxed shoulders, place both hands at your chest. Begin to think positive thoughts, and allow yourself to notice and revel in self-love and peace. Observe the effect that the feeling has on your heart and body.
Allow yourself to rest in this feeling of love, and notice how it feels to treat yourself the same way.Continue breathing deeply into your heart, and for about two-five minutes, begin pairing the breath with a positive affirmation -`My life is beautiful and I am grateful for all that I have' -you have in mind.
Allow your body to relax with every exhalation as you begin to absorb its meaning. Even if this affirmation feels mechanical at first, by repeatedly focusing the mind on it, you are retraining your subconscious while subtly alleviating the negative self-talk.

Lie down on the ground (for support, you'll need one or two thick fold ed blanketsmats) and raise your legs high, touching the wall. Start by placing your support about six inches away from the wall. Sit sideways on right end of the sup port, with your right side against the wall. Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head down onto the floor. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support, tuck the support a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again. Lift and release the base of your skull away from the back of your neck and soften your throat. Release the heads of the thigh bones and the weight of your belly deeply into your torso, toward the back of the pelvis. Stay in this pose anywhere from five to 15 minutes. Instead, slide off the support onto the floor before turning to the side. This pose relieves tired or cramped legs and feet. Gently stretch the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck. This pose is actually a supported variation of the shoulder stand (sarvangasana). This pose helps you calm the mind.

The corpse pose or shravasana is not only the easiest, but it is also the most important asana in the yoga sequence. When you are in a state of shravasana (body flat facing the sky, with palms facing upwards), you are in a zero state. Allow yourself to feel nothing and let thoughts pass. Aside of focussing on quieting the physical body in Shravasana, it's also essential to pacify the from sensory organs.
Soften the root of the tongue, the wings of the nose, the channels of the inner ears, and the skin of the forehead. Let the eyes sink to the back of the head, then turn them downward to gaze at the heart.
Remember, it is the total relaxation pose and doesn't require the body to put any additional physical effort. Breathe in and say to yourself (in your mind), “I fill myself with an abundance of self-love, acceptance and divine energy“. After a few moments of peace and positive affirmations, gently roll to the right and place your arms at the centre to form a namaste pose and thank the Universe for this blessed day.
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