Basic Yoga Relaxation Techniques

Learn how to relax using a yoga position and a deep breathing exercise!

The practice of Yoga has been around for centuries, and was originally developed from Hindu Philosophy. Yoga is the Sanskrit word which means "union". The original purpose of Yoga was to "find the union of the individual with the divine means." This was accomplished by using Yoga techniques along with proper diet, exercise, breathing, posture, and mediation.

Hatha-yoga is probably the most popular type of this practice. People use Hatha-yoga in order to improve their health and sense of well being. This is accomplished by learning body control through breathing exercises, posture positions, and by concentration of the mind. The people of today's modern society usually practice Yoga for the benefits of relaxation.

There are numerous posture positions to choose from, but the most common and most widely-known is the Lotus Position. To perform this, you must be first seated on the floor. Place your right right on your left thigh, and your left foot on your right thigh. This may sound easier than it really is. In order to accomplish this, bend your right leg at the knee and grab your right foot with your hands. Then, place your right foot on your opposite thigh. The next step is to bend your left knee and grab your left foot with your hands. Place your left foot on the opposite thigh. Both knees should be on the floor, and the bottoms of your feet should be facing upward. Keep your spine straight too.

Now that you have your feet and legs in place, you will need to position your hands also. There are three ways in which to do this:

The first position- Hold both of your hands palm-side up. Now place one hand on top of the other hand and lay both of them on the heels of your feet.

The second position- Keep the palms of your hands down and place both hands on your knees.

The third position- Place the palms of both hands face-up. Then place both hands on your knees and form a circle with your thumb and index finger. Keep the remaining fingers straight outward.

Another common technique that can help you relax and de-stress your body is called "alternate nostril breathing." It is, of course, performed by breathing through one nostril at a time. In order to do this, use your thumb and the little finger of your right hand. Use the right thumb to close off the right nostril. Lay the remaining fingers gently between your eyebrows. Inhale slowly and deeply through the remaining open nostril, and then hold your breath as long as you possibly can. Then, when you cannot hold your breath any longer, uncover your right nostril and cover your left nostril with the little finger of your right hand. Let your breath come out slowly-do not force it or blow hard- and exhale completely through your nostril. You can practice this technique for a few minutes every day, or you can use it anytime that you feel the need to relax.

Deep breathing exercises, such as this one, has a natural calming effect on the mind and the body because of the increase in oxygen that it brings to your entire being.

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