So how are you going with relaxing in shavasana every day? After practising body awareness in this ‘lying on your back’ position we can progress to bringing closer attention to individual parts of our body and relaxing them deeper.
Get yourself comfy on your back on the floor, allow your feet to drop to either side, relax your arms further away from your body and bring your attention onto your abdomen. Feel your breath there. Notice how your abdomen moves as you breathe – up on inhalation, down on exhalation. Don’t control your breath, only watch it! Allow yourself to spend some time focusing on this area of your body and notice how it is softening and relaxing.
Move your awareness on your both feet now. Feel them both. Feel all your toes, bottoms and tops of your feet, ankles. Moving up – feel your calves, both shins, knees, upper legs, hips. Moving up further – feel your hands, all fingers, palms, wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms, shoulders, chest, try to feel the heartbeat within your chest, whole back, neck, throat, jaw, cheeks, eyes, all the little muscles around your eyes, forehead and the skin underneath your hair.
You can feel your whole body now. Return your awareness to your centre – your abdomen just under the bellybutton and feel your breath there for a few more minutes. Your focus is on watching your breath. If you find yourself distracted by some bodily sensation or thoughts, acknowledge it, but without getting involved, gently and slowly return to watching your breath. Enjoy the stillness.
After a while, slowly take control over your breath again – make one of your next inhalations a little deeper and longer and slowly start moving and stretching your body. Gently, slowly. Stretch in whatever way is comfortable for you. Slowly roll on your side and sit up. Smile and thank yourself for taking a little time to relax and recharge your batteries.
In this blog post I’m going to introduce poses of Structural Yoga in a simple and plain language.
What do I mean by structural yoga? Mukunda Stiles was a great yoga teacher who found the Structural Yoga therapy which is classical yoga with extra focus on posture, body reading and correcting postural imbalances.
If you are completely new to yoga you can use this series to get to know some of the most common and beneficial yoga positions and if you are a more seasoned yoga practitioner – you may like to take this opportunity to take a fresh look at some yoga position and how they can improve your posture.
Before starting any yoga practise, remember that yoga pose is a steady and comfortable position and it is mastered by relaxation of effort.
First pose to look at is the Mountain Pose. In this position you stand nice and tall. It is a foundation pose for all others and great for body reading and detecting any postural imbalances.
Let’s stand up. Rock on your feet to start with and then spread the weight of your body evenly between your two feet. Relax your arms with palms facing your sides. Your chest is open, pelvis has slight thrust to produce a mild tone to your lower abdominal muscles. Eyes are either closed or open, in either case you have a focus point, either external or internal.
Mountain pose brings harmony and balance into your whole body. It stretches your whole spine, improves posture and bodily awareness, helps to develop balance and stability and deepens the breath.
Mountain pose is a position which cleans up within ourselves - it puts everything where it is meant to be! And it gets us ready to face whatever the world brings our way!
From various sources you may have heard that meditation is beneficial for your health and wellbeing. You may have even tried to meditate at home but found it too difficult and hard to commit to everyday practise.
But what is meditation? Meditation is the ability to journey within yourself and rest in the pure nature of your consciousness. You need to travel through and beyond your thoughts and mental concept which you’ve been learning and acquiring for years. They are helpful in your everyday life and work but not during meditation.
How to get past your thoughts?
There are a lot of preparatory exercises to help us on our meditative journey. There are three essential prerequisites or skills to master before we can really meditate. They are letting go of tension, proper breathing and stilling the mind.
We’ll start with letting go of tension. Let’s simply lie down into Savasana pose or Corpse pose on your back with your legs comfortable distance apart, feet are allowed to drop to the sides, arms are further away from your body with your palms up if comfortable and your eyes closed. Allow your body to sink into the mat or floor underneath you and rest here for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat daily for next few days before we move onto whole body guided relaxation.
Happy letting go of tension!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.