Yoga & Relaxation

The whole point of this is to give you exercises that will help you take control of your mind and be able to focus your thoughts, which can be a very powerful tool. As well how to breathe and how powerful it can be. The goal of yoga is to reach enlightenment. To this end, if you can control your breathing, you will be on your way to controlling your body, which in turn gives you control over your mind. The whole point of yoga is to move your body into different positions that get harder and harder. The more you can control your mind, the easier it will be to do the harder poses. Yoga practice usually starts with the easier poses, where you just try to meditate and relax your body and mind. As you get better, you move on to the more difficult poses, hoping that you can still keep your body and mind relaxed. Mind control is so important in yoga and in life in general. When you have the ability to focus, your mind can have some control over a muscle that seems to have a mind of its own. By doing yoga, you will be able to focus better and, hopefully, be happier. This happiness comes from enlightenment, finding out about your body, and being able to focus and sharpen your mind. In the last part of this book, we'll talk about how this control is important in yoga and how it can help you in other parts of your life. Yoga is something you can learn, something you can teach, and something that can help you a lot if you are having trouble or can't focus on your life. Once you've started to learn yoga, I hope this book will help you along the way. I also hope that if you like it, you'll keep going on your journey and try to learn as much as you can to help you reach your goals of enlightenment and mind control. People have long thought of yoga as a way to get stronger and more flexible by mastering different poses. But yoga has always been about more than that. At first, it was about using and understanding the world as a whole. Over time, though, it shifted its focus to the individual, with the belief that self-enlightenment was the ultimate goal. People thought that by sacrificing their ego through self-knowledge, action, and wisdom, they could make a big change in their lives. This idea of sacrificing the ego came from the ritual sacrifices that the Upanishads did to change into what they thought was a better and harder sacrifice, one of the self. Sacrificing your ego can be hard, but it was thought that this path to spiritual discipline would give you more control over your mind and body and help you become a healthier, happier version of yourself. Breath work or control, which is also called pranayama, is a key part of yoga and of getting your mind under control. You might say to yourself, "I breathe all the time, I'm good at it, or I wouldn't be alive, so why should I practice something I already know how to do?" You might be interested to know that Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga include pranayama as the fourth limb. Or, you might find it interesting to learn that scientific research has shown that paying attention to your breath and learning how to control it is a good way to reduce stress and improve everything from your metabolism to your everyday moods. Stress can lead to a wide range of health problems, so anything we can do to reduce and manage it will be good for our bodies. Enlightenment is a state that can help you get rid of stress and accept many things about life. It can change the way you look at the world, making you happier and healthier. This pranayama, or control of your breath, is a tool that can help your body. It improves your physical health, your mental health, and your ability to meditate at the same time. Don't just think of it as training your lungs, but also your mind. When you take something you do without thinking and use your will to make it something you do consciously and with thought, it changes your mind, makes it more disciplined, and in turn gives you more control over the rest of your body. Your mind tells your body what to do. Many people feel like their brains do things on their own without their knowledge. It can even make you react in ways that you can't control without the right kind of discipline. Let's look at how people usually breathe. Most people breathe between 14 and 20 times per minute, which is about average and considered normal. This is interesting because this is about three times more than the number of breaths that have been shown to help you feel better, which is about 4 to 5 a minute. With this difference in front of us, let's look to science to see if we can figure out what's going on and why going from an average of 14 to 20 breaths per minute to 4 or 5 can be so helpful. Our body's responses, like "fight or flight" and "rest and digest," are controlled by our autonomic nervous system (rest and restore). Things like digestion, heart rate, and breathing speed up or slow down depending on how dangerous you think something is. This was a way for the body to respond quickly to threats and give you the strength or whatever else you needed to try to stay alive. We are always connected to everything in this age of technology. For example, if you have a cellphone, your boss can always reach you, which is usually not seen as a bad thing. But if your job or boss is a source of stress in your life and they text or call you often, your body may react more strongly to the sound of your phone because of the "threat" your boss represents. When you feel anxious or panicked, your breathing rate will change because of these feelings. Since we are always in touch with everything around us, it's not surprising that many people have faster breathing rates. From research, we know what happens during these responses. With each breath, millions of sensory receptors in the respiratory system are turned on. These receptors send signals to the brain through the nervous system. The more feelings your brain gets, the faster you breathe. You almost excite it with the constant stream of information. This excitement triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which turns up the stress hormones. These hormones raise blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, sweating, and even tension in the muscles. If all of this happens because your breathing rate goes up, what happens when it slows down? Your breathing rate is slowest when you are sleeping. This is also when your body starts to heal all the small "tears" that your muscles have gotten during the day, as well as any other injuries or illnesses you may have. Your body heals itself while you sleep. The quietness of your mind and the rhythm of your breathing start the healing process. So, it makes sense that if you can control your breathing and slow it down while you're awake, you should be able to use your parasympathetic responses to calm and heal yourself and have a clearer mind. Here are some basic breathing exercises that you can use while doing yoga or just in everyday life. Keeping this in mind and making sure you breathe right while doing yoga poses will make it even better for you. Most people think that the power of yoga comes from the different poses or positions, but it actually comes from the breathing. You can't learn one without also learning the other. Start by focusing on how you breathe. Don't try to make any changes yet. Just pay attention to how you do it, how long your inhales and exhales are. Is one bigger than the other? Can you tell if something is shallow? What kinds of things speed up your breathing? All of these are important questions to help you figure out how you breathe now and what makes your body react to stress. The goal is to build stress resilience, which means that you should be able to control how you react to things that would normally make you feel stressed. You can do this at any time and any place. It's important to think about how different people and places affect you. You want to just watch what's going on as you breathe through your nose. Answer the questions above and then just be in the moment for about 2 to 3 minutes, paying attention but not changing anything. This is the first step to control, because when you are aware of your breath, it tends to slow down even when you don't mean to. Ocean Breath, also called "Victory Breath" or "Victorious Breath," is also called "Ujjayi Pranayama." It is a popular breathing technique because it is soft and slow. It has a sound and feel like waves on the beach, which can be very soothing. Focusing on your breath is a good way to do this. Inhale through your nose, then open your mouth and slowly let out your breath while saying "Ha." Do this a few times and try to get a feel for how to make the "Ha" sound in the back of the throat. Then, close your mouth and keep trying to keep the "Ha" sound as you exhale as you continue the exercise. Alternate-Nostril Breathing is also called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. As the name suggests, this is when you breathe in and out of your right and left nostrils at the same time. People who practice yoga believe that this exercise clears and cleans the nasal passages, which they see as energy channels that carry life force and cosmic energy through the body. Even though it's hard to know if this exercise really helps to rebalance the nervous system, studies have shown that Nadi Shodhana lowers blood pressure and makes it easier to concentrate. Before you meditate, this is a good exercise to do. It can help get the mind ready and may also help clear the nose. Sit down and make a fist with your hand. With your thumb and pointer finger extended, gently close your right nostril with one finger. Inhale through the left nostril, then close the left one with your finger before you open the right one. nose and breathing out. Keep the right nostril open and breathe in. Then close it and breathe out through the left nostril. This is one cycle, which you should do from 3 to 5 times. Breath Retention: To do breath retention, or Kumbhaka Pranayama, you take a full breath in and hold it for 10 seconds. Then, try to take a few more breaths in before letting all of them out. This exercise makes the lungs work harder and gives them time to fully expand, which makes them bigger. The idea is to let them work at full capacity so that the brain, heart, and all other muscles can get more oxygen-rich blood. This is another exercise that is best done right before you sit down to meditate. Inhale deeply and fill your lungs as much as you can while concentrating. Then, stop breathing for about ten seconds. Before you let out your breath, you should try to take in just a little bit more air and hold it in for as long as you can. Do this a few times, but pay attention. If your body isn't used to it, this exercise can be confusing, so you should work up to 10 seconds. This exercise can be especially hard for people who have any kind of anxiety. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try it; just start with 2 or 3 seconds and work your way up to 10 seconds as you get more comfortable. Breath of Fire: Breath of Fire, also called Kapalabhati Pranayama, is a technique for quick, deep breathing that is meant to wake you up and give you energy. If you're feeling tired, this is a great way to get your mind and body going again. If you are under a lot of stress, you should probably skip this exercise until you start to get your mind under control. This exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system, and if you are working on your breathing to calm and control yourself, this isn't a good exercise to use. You can do this exercise if you need more energy to work on your poses or if you just want to get moving and shake off the dust. Start by taking a full, deep breath in and slowly letting it out. Then, after you take another breath in, you should quickly let out the air by pulling your lower abs in toward your spine. This will force the air out in a short burst. After every exhale, the next inhale should be slow and passive. You should do this for 25 to 30 deep breaths out. Using Your Breath When You Practice: At different times, you should take different breaths. Using your breath correctly while practicing yoga positions will help you get better results and keep your mind on the task at hand. To use the right breath at the right time, you have to think about it and be disciplined. This is just another step toward focusing and taking control of your mind and body. Try to keep these simple rules in mind as you practice, and they will soon feel like second nature. When bending forward, breathe out. In yoga, forward bends are usually done in poses where you are trying to calm your body. When you exhale, your heart rate slows down. This helps the effects of the pose and the depth of the fold. When your lungs are empty, you can make your torso smaller, which makes it easier to bend more deeply. When you lift or open your chest, inhale. In yoga, when you lift your body or open your chest, you usually move into positions that are meant to wake you up or get you going. To take a deep breath, your muscles have to work harder. This is a good way to wake up your muscles and get them moving. So putting the two together helps make your movement more powerful. Exhale as you turn. Before you twist, you should take a deep breath to get your body ready for the move. The twist is done at the same time as exhaling because it has some benefits. When your lungs are empty, your torso has more room to move and you can move deeper into the stretch. Exhaling is also thought to be detoxifying because it gets rid of carbon monoxide. People think that twisting is also a detoxifying move, so doing both is thought to have the best effect. Let's talk about some important yoga positions that everyone should know and use. These are ones that will be useful in any class you take. Also, they have simple, good effects on your body. Before moving on to more difficult poses, it's best to get good at the basics. To master these poses, just like any others, you will need to be disciplined and pay attention to how you breathe. Depending on how hard they are, some poses will be changed.
  1. Downward Facing Dog: Adho Mukah Svanasana
In this position, you put your hands and feet on the floor and push your butt up into the air while keeping your arms straight and your ears between your arms. The idea is that your legs and arms should be straight, and your waist should be bent. Keep your hands flat and your toes pointing forward. Your heels don't have to be on the ground, but they should be close and reaching for it. Some beginners lean way too far forward. You should be able to master this posture if you keep in mind that you want to look like a "A" from the side and put more weight on your legs. This is a pose for resting, and once you get good at it, you will actually find it relaxing. It can help make many parts of the body stronger and lessen back pain. It can also ease tension and headaches by stretching the spine and putting less pressure on the head. In this pose, you will breathe deeper, feel less anxious, and have better blood flow all over your body. If your hamstrings are tight, you might find it hard to get your legs straight in this position. You can bend your knees a little or a lot, depending on what you need. This is an acceptable change.
  1. Mountain Pose: Tadasana
In this position, you will stand tall with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes facing forward. Keep everything straight and put your hands by your sides with your palms facing forward. This is not a very difficult position, but it is still important. In this pose, you need to work on your alignment. It should make a straight line from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head. This is a good pose to help you feel connected to the strength of the earth and to your own strength. It can also help to relax the body and let it process and use the benefits of the constant flow in our bodies. It can help you relax your breathing and get into a meditative state.
  1. Warrior I: Virbhadrasana I
Balance is needed for this position. In a lunge, you bend your front knee and keep it over your toes. You straighten your back leg to keep your knee strong. Then you will open up by putting both arms out in front of you. Make sure to keep your hips facing forward when you're in this position. This position has many benefits. In addition to helping you stand up straight, it will also open your hips, chest, and lungs. It will help you become more stable, focused, and balanced, and it will also help you breathe and move better. It can give your whole body energy and stretch it out. Change: You may find that you need to move your feet to the edges of the mat. This will give you a wider stance and make it easier to stay balanced. In this position, you also need to keep your back leg straight. If this is hard, come out of your lunge a bit. If you do a deeper lunge, it might be harder to keep your back leg straight.
  1. Warrior II: Virbhadrasana II
For this pose, you will get into the same lunge as for warrior I, but this time your hips will face the side of the mat instead of forward. The back leg will still be straight, and the knee of the front leg will still be over the toe. Keeping your chest open and your back straight, you will put your arms out to the sides, keeping one over the front leg and the other along the back leg. Your top half should look like the letter "T." This is a good posture because it helps you strengthen and stretch different parts of your lower body. It can give you more energy and ease backaches, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy. Modification: In this position, you need to keep your back leg straight. If this is hard for you, come out of your lunge a bit. When you lunge deeper, it can be harder to keep your back leg straight.
  1. Extended Side Angle: Utthita Parvakonasan
Using the same lunge as in both warrior poses, but with your hips facing the side of the mat like in warrior II, you will also stretch your arms out to the side like in warrior II. Then, reach down over the front leg and put your hand on the floor next to the foot. Slowly twist to raise the other arm to the ceiling, which opens up the chest. As you twist in this position, look up and keep your stomach muscles tight to protect your lower back. This yoga pose is also a way to build strength, like many others. It can also help with constipation, lower back pain, sciatica, and painful periods. Some people even think this position can help people who can't have children. Change: Instead of putting your hand on the floor, you can bring your forearm to your thigh. If your body isn't ready and you reach for the floor, the position of your torso is changed because your chest will be facing the floor instead of staying open.
  1. Triangle Pose: Utthita Trikonasan
Spread your arms straight out to the side and move your legs so that they are wider than your shoulders and your feet are facing forward. Then, leaning to one side, put your hand behind your foot and reach down to the floor. For better balance, the foot you land on should point toward the short end of the mat instead of the long end. The other arm should be up toward the ceiling, and you should be looking up. From the front or back, your torso, leg, and arm should touch the floor in a triangle shape. The triangle pose will work every part of your body and help you strengthen your core. Stretch your legs and open up your hips and shoulders. Change: Instead of putting your hand on the floor, you can bring your forearm to your thigh or just below your knee. You could also use a yoga block if you have one handy. Don't put your hand on your knee, though. They are already under a lot of stress when you hold them straight, so you don't want to do anything else that could hurt them.
  1. Cat-and-Cow Stretch: Chakravakasan
Start your posture on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees about hip-width apart. By bending over and gently pushing your shoulders toward your hips as you drop your head, you can stretch your back. Hold for a moment, then lift your head and arch your back to stretch your back in the opposite direction. If you have back pain, this is a great stretch that can help make your spine more flexible. It will help you stand up straighter, keep your balance, and move around better. It can help bring balance to your emotions, relieve stress, and calm your mind. Attention: Don't put your arms in front of you like in the picture. Instead, keep them down at your sides.
  1. Staff Pose: Dandasana
This pose is like the mountain pose from a sitting position. You'll put your legs straight out in front of you and sit on your bottom. Your toes should face the ceiling. You should keep your back straight and your hips in a straight line. Your arms should be at your sides with your palms on the floor and your fingertips pointing forward. This pose will not only help you stand up straighter, but it will also stretch your shoulders and chest and strengthen your back muscles. So many benefits come from a position that just looks like sitting. You might have trouble standing up straight on the floor. If this is the case, try sitting on a towel or two, or on a folded blanket, to make yourself more comfortable.
  1. Cobbler's Pose: Baddha Konasana
Sitting tall, bring the soles of your feet together and hold them with your hands. Depending on who teaches you, your hands may be placed in different ways. Hold your feet for now, but don't be surprised if you're told to do something else. This is also a position you don't sit in very often, so it will help you stretch out some parts of your body you don't use much. This pose not only helps you stretch well, but it will also probably force you to face your limits. This pose needs a mix of balance, strength, and flexibility. Because your legs are spread apart, it gives your groin a big stretch, which can be hard for some. This is a good stretch to try to get through some pain and just relax and enjoy, without putting yourself in too much danger. Part of yoga is getting to know your body and its limits, and this pose can help you do that in a safe way. You might find it hard to sit up straight on the floor. If this is the case, try sitting on a folded blanket or towel to get more comfortable. This is especially true if you find that your knees are a long way above your hips.
  1. Child's Pose: Balasana
One of the most important poses in yoga is this one. You will fold your body forward while on your knees and keep your legs bent underneath you. When you stretch your arms above your head, your palms and forehead will touch the floor flat. The child's pose is probably one of the most important and well-known poses in yoga. It's a way to relax, stretch, and get your feet on the ground. Many different exercise experts use it. Watch out for your body. If you are feeling weak or dizzy, or if you just need a break, you can move into this pose at any time. In any class, you can move to this spot when you need a break without having to ask for one.