Time for a nap – er… I mean relaxation

I know that it’s sometimes hard to stay awake during our deep relaxations! But you should try to… when we relax the body and mind for about 15 minutes we have a chance to truly nurture ourselves. The ancient yogis said that this type of rest is equivalent to 4 hour sleep. I’m not certain that’s scientifically proven, but I do feel that during the relaxation exercises we are teaching our body to be still (when it is otherwise still?) and our minds to stay focused on just one thing and allowing all thoughts to drop away into the background. If we just give in and go to sleep – well it’s good to get a little nap – but that is all it is. It can also be a bit disorientating to wake up on a village hall floor and can make you feel woozy.
When we have trained ourselves to remain alert during relaxation we can move on to the practice of Yoga Nidra – in this state where the mind is between being awake and asleep we are very receptive to ideas and this is where a ‘Sankalpa’ is used. A Sankalpa is a resolution for change – after we find our resolve, we repeat it during the practice and rather like sowing a seed into the soil, this resolve is placed deep within us. I hope that we can begin to use this technique next year in class, so please consider your own Sankalpa – it can take some time to figure out and find the right one, so be patient.

Here is the Deep Relaxation with Introduction to the Chakras – it’s a good one to repeat as you can learn the position and names of the Chakras while having a good rest.

What are the Chakras?

chakras

Chakras are energy centers… ancient yogis developed a concept of energy pathways running all around the body – rather than our energy just radomly ‘fuzzing’ about inside us.  This is similar to the system of meridians used in Chinese medicine, reflexology and acupuncture.

One of the main energy pathways (nadis) is along the spine.  Where pathways cross the spine, the energy is said to become greater and move in a circular motion hence the name ‘Chakra’, which means wheel in Sanskrit.

You can find more out about the Chakras on the following websites

http://www.zenlama.com/the-7-chakras-a-beginners-guide-to-your-energy-system/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-91/The-7-Chakras-for-Beginners.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/898?page=4