Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Invisible Relaxation

(Previously published in the July, 2011 newsletter)
When you need to practice restorative yoga poses, but your situation does not offer the best environment, you can move into invisible relaxation.   You may be in the grocery store checkout line, wondering why the line is not moving and what's going on.  Instead of raising your blood pressure and getting bent out of shape, you can follow a few simple steps to relax, instead. You can access this method anywhere, whether you are seated at your desk at work, alone or in a crowded grocery store checkout line.  
By Tia Tran [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Begin by paying attention to your body, especially the position of your spine.  Elongate your spine and allowing a soft curve in the small of your back.  Be tall and strong  and imagine yourelf gently being lifted by the top of your head.  Allow a soft curve to form in the small of your back.  Close your eyes or look down.  
Awareness  to your breathing is next.  Take a few long and slow breaths, keeping the spine elongated.  When your spine is lengthened, your diaphragm will function effectively and your breath will be easy.  Allow your shoulders to drop with your exhalations, and relax your arms .  If you are seated, they can rest on a table.  Soften your abdomen, release tension around your eyes and around your jaw.  If seated, relax your legs, feeling the support of your chair; if standing, feel your feet rooted to the floor, but don't tax your leg muscles.  We only want firm footing, so the rest of your body can let go.
Rest in the present and, be in this moment and in this place, as you inhale and exhale deeply.  Allow yourself to be a part of your current  environment.  Be aware of your inner feelings, of the sounds around you and beyond the room or building that you are in.  Sense the texture and feel of your clothes against your skin, what is happening in this moment and include it all in your relaxation.
Return when you are ready.  Begin by taking a few more long and quiet breaths and slowly open your eyes or raise your head, giving time to your eyes to adjust to your environment.  Continue with your work or activities, now feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Namaste, Debbie

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