Yoga and Relaxation

It’s a common misconception that we are relaxing when we socialise, watch television, enjoy a drink, read a newspaper, but these are all different forms of sensory stimulation.  Modern life generally, places individuals under pressure, due to working hours, insecurities about the future, and an increasingly competitive and consumer based society. Value on time for relaxation and its significance for wellbeing and health, has diminished. But time for relaxation and physical activity, is essential for a healthy body, mind and spirit

Muscular tension – this affects the physical body, including the nervous system and the endocrine system.

Emotional tension – negative and strong emotions may cause repressed and buried tensions, which over time may build up, leading to ailments like back pain, depression, headaches.

Mental tension- a result of too much mental activity and fragmentations of the mind, which we may become prone to during our working hours, busy social lives, traffic etc. Accumulated experiences stored in the mental body build up and cause tension and sudden outbursts.

Tension in one area can very easily affect the other, for example a mental state of anxiety may cause physical symptoms such as indigestion, back pain, palpitations or insomnia. Strong emotions such as frustration and anger could cause a physical reaction such as headache or high blood pressure. If steps aren’t taken to reduce these tensions, side effects occur, which is commonly known as stress.

Through yoga breathing, postures and relaxation we can learn to release tensions and restore a balance on a physical, emotional and mental level, releasing potentially harmful resistance, to the healthy functioning of the nervous system and endocrine system.The aim of yoga is to achieve serenity and peace.  Physically, we let go of tensions through asana (postures) and mentally we let go through the breath work (pranayama), and  in synchronisation with the yoga movements and stretches. Through the relaxation we aim to calm all the systems, by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system which calms the sympathetic system (fight or flight), which responds to stress.