Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Napping, savasana or bathing?

Behind the yoga practice stands the hidden goal to learn to relax: the mind and the body. We practice to stay relaxed on the mat. With time we learn to have a relaxed attitude also off the mat.

In the course of a day I realize that I need time to relax. I remember the times when I worked  in offices. When people needed a couple of minutes off they ran to the coffee kitchen to kill the fatigue with caffeine. Some ran to the front of the door to have a cigarette. These are the allowed "relaxation" techniques in the corporate world. Never ever close the eyes for a nap. One could think you come tired to work and you sleep there.

Napping: Having 8 hours of sleep is OK I think. Some need more, some less. Eight hours of sleep within 24 hours seems to be an average time of sleep that human beings need. If one can sleep 7 hours at night and 1 hour in the afternoon it's great. Sometimes 30 min of sleeping in the afternoon is even enough for me. Afterwards I wake up and I'm ready for the next actions.

Savasana: Savasana is a technique that we learn after the asana practice. Sometimes when I want to relax in the middle of the day, the mind is still active and it is difficult to fall asleep, then savasana comes into play. I lie on the back, covered with a blanket and scan the body: Little toes relaxes, the toes next to the little toes relaxes. The more precise one scans the body the more relaxed it becomes. This exercise focus the mind and distracts from daily issues, so that this exercise is relaxing for the mind, too. I set the timer for 25 min usually.

Bathing: If napping and savasana are not possible, I bath. I wash my hair in the bath tub, scrub my feet. A bathing oil might spread some fragrance that might bewitch the senses.

The asana practices teaches me to relax. The body is in a challenging asana. My task is to keep the breath even and deep. This is the technique that teaches to face challenges in life, too with a relaxed attitude.

My yoga practice made me conscious on relaxation. Of course I know the unhealthy techniques, too. Too much food, alcoholic beverages, watching TV are such techniques.

Being able to relax is a skill that can be learned. The more often one practices, the better one becomes.

It's good to have a choice.

What is your favourite relaxation technique?
Your comments are welcomed.


Kitharo said...

Yoga and Meditation in general always relaxes me... and I'm an insomniac and the body scan method really helps me to fall asleep pretty fast, so that's an important part, too.

Observing the breath is a simple and fast relaxation technique and I often use it in the middle of the day when I'm stressed or anxious.

Music can also be relaxing, I think. If I want to meditate and my mind really jumps around, I often put mantra music on and that helps. But music in general, if you really listen and not just have it in the background, relaxes, too.

I guess the question is: what isn't relaxing? Because if you think about it (the Zen way) then every activity can be relaxing and meditative... I think we often just ignore that we need to relax, because our daily lifes are so busy!

Ursula said...

Thank you, Kitharo for your comment.

Listening to music I've frogotten totally.

Focusing on the breath is such a good relaxation technique, too.

Peace of mind

Francisca Gusmao said...

Hi Ursula!

A walk by the sea is great for me.

Have a nice day and a nice practice too.


Ursula said...

Wow, this is a great way to relax. The sound of the waves has a calming effect on my soul, too.

To walk is great.

Anna said...

Sit in a warm quiet room reading a book - preferably with a clock ticking slowly...

Ursula said...

Amazing. Sounds great, too.
There are so many different ways to relax.

Anonymous said...

I find my best moments of relaxation besides a yoga practice are when I am curled up with one of my kitties, either my black cat Twyla or my black and white cat Iris. The act of petting a cat can definitely have a calming effect. I admire them - they truly live in the present moment and they know how to relax - often.

Ursula said...

OH, this would be something for me, too. E loves cats, too.
We travel too much, but I can imagine you with the cats. Sweet picture.

Allen Jackson said...

nice share
Thanks for sharing

Allen Jackson said...

nice share
Thanks for sharing