Throughout your practice you are learning to relax. However, just as it takes time to learn the sequence of asanas and the combination of breath, bandhas and drishti, it takes time to learn to relax. Letting go of tensions in the body and mind are an integral part of yoga.
It is essential to finish each practice with a 10 minute relaxation. This allows the body to rebalance itself after the effects of the practice.
Savasana translated as ‘corpse pose’. It is the final posture where you lay on your back and witness a stillness in the body and mind as the heart rate settles and the breath finds its natural resting rhythm. This resting pose has revitalising and nurturing effects renewing our energy, vitality and spirit both of body and mind.
We periodically add 15 minutes of yoga nidra (relaxation) to deepen the experience of relaxation at the end of each class.
Yoga Nidra or “Yogi sleep” is the state at which the conscious mind subsides but awareness remains. To practice yoga nidra, one lies in savasana and consciously relaxes the whole body, part by part, and then concentrates on the natural breath. By this method the subconscious mind comes to the surface and the conscious mind drops away. In this deep form of meditation you enter into the stillness of the deep sleep state yet remain awake.
For thousands of years Yogis have used Yoga Nidra to master the art of sleep, balance the subtle energies and experience greater depths of meditation.
Practitioners claim that half an hour of Yoga Nidra can replace up to three hours of normal sleep. Its regular use as a sleep substitute is not recommended as the body and mind still requires sufficient rest through standard sleep.
Practice, practice, practice – it takes time to learn how to relax.
Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind.
To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.