Yoga’s power lies in its ability to relax the mind; to create space between the thoughts; to bring about contentment and happiness and to encourage a more meaningful way of living.
During a yoga class relaxation is usually practiced towards the end of the session after the physical movements. The idea is to relax with attention - to remain conscious whilst still being at ease. This can help you begin to notice and release long-held tensions in your body and mind. This practice is one of letting go, relinquishing all effort and allowing yourself to simply ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. Relaxation is deeply refreshing in itself and serves as a starting point for meditation.
Meditation usually follows relaxation in class. There are many different meditation techniques, for example observing the breath, gazing at a candle flame or practicing yoga nidra, a unique form of guided meditation which is done lying down. Most of these methods create a one pointed focus for the mind which allows the thoughts to slow down so you can begin to watch them as they arise. Over time, meditation has the potential to liberate us from our thoughts and conditioning, to let go of unhelpful habitual patterns so we are free to make different and more purposeful choices.
Benefits of Relaxation & Meditation
- Induces feelings of calm and peacefulness
- Creates space between thoughts
- Encourages more mindful and less reactive behaviour
- Stills the mind
- Acceptance of those thing we have no control over
- Releasing of old habits and patterns
- Feelings of contentment and happiness
- Living a more meaningful and purposeful life
Victoria has been practising relaxation and meditation for 21 years and teaching them for 12 years. Relaxation and simple meditation are always included in her yoga classes in W5 and W13. Longer, deeper meditation is usually taught on Yoga Nidra Evenings in Ealing and retreats.