Yoga as a Relaxation Technique

yoga instructor certificationBy Jenny Park

How can we teach Yoga as a relaxation technique? Some instructors actually don’t know, because relaxation methods were not part of their foundational teacher training. Yet, it is possible to learn these foundational techniques and pass them on to our students. When one decides to become a Yoga teacher, there are many responsibilities. We are obligated to keep our students safe, teach them about holistic health, and to guide them toward states of relaxation and meditation. The physical style we know as Hatha is more than an exercise session. Hatha is one of the most widely recognized forms of Yoga. It can also the most gentle or very vigorous, depending on the teacher and style.

 

Many of the asanas are designed to stretch the body, with breathing techniques that are done in conjunction with the movements. Meditation is also a large part of Hatha Yoga, especially before and after. Many people who try it find themselves feeling more focused and calm after a session in comparison to before the session started. It does require a certain amount of concentration, and that probably helps the body and the mind to let go of stress and instead focus on what the body really needs.

 

People who are new to Yoga training will often start with Hatha. Many times, this is the form that will help them ease into other forms of Yoga. It is a non-impact and healthy form of exercise and relaxation for people of almost any fitness level. It can also be used as a form of relaxation for athletes who are in rigorous training as a way to help ease the body and the mind. Quite honestly, it can be used by people of all walks of life. Yoga as a relaxation technique has been around for thousands of years.

There are a number of Yoga styles that fall under the category of Hatha. Some of them might be more physically challenging than others. One of the key things to remember is that even if the poses are gentle and may not feel as if they are having an effect on the body or mind at the time of practice, that doesn’t mean benefits won’t be seen later. Many people have faithfully practiced Yoga but weren’t sure they were getting anything from the session until afterward, as the feelings of relaxation that were released from the mind through the stretching of the body are fully realized.

 

The key to feeling the benefits from Yoga is realizing that it isn’t a quick fix. True benefits (physical, mental, and emotional) happen as practice is maintained. The relaxation that can be achieved will often have a beneficial effect on overall health. After all, stress is the culprit of many of the health problems that are we are faced with today. Yoga training can be a natural way to strengthen the body and relax the mind so that stress can be dealt with in a healthy way.

Yoga as a relaxation technique is not a new concept. Yoga poses, pranayama, Yoga Nidra, stage-by-stage relaxation, body scanning relaxation techniques, and many types of meditation bring about states of calm. We can trace these methods back for thousands of years.

 

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