For many of us, our minds are cluttered with thoughts and “to do” lists. Instead of resting when we feel tired, we often reach for a caffeine pick me up. By the time our head reaches our pillow we are exhausted, yet our minds continue to be full with the day’s events, which makes it challenging to have a restful sleep. As my practice as a yoga instructor evolves, I’ve found that taking a few minutes to sit or relax quietly (meditate) makes a significant difference in the way that I feel. I notice I have more energy to accomplish what I need to during the day, I’m more present with those I love, and I sleep better at night.
Towards the end of a yoga class we relax for a few minutes. During this relaxation time, known as “savasana”, we give ourselves the permission to relax, and consciously choose to let go of thoughts. After savasana comes to a close, students feel restored, with a sense of peace, calm and inner knowing. Learning how to relax your mind and body, can be quite simple if you follow the steps I below, which I based on savasana. After you practice the seven steps to restore your mind, body and spirit, you too will experience peace, calm and joy.
Seven Steps to Restore Your Mind, Body, and Spirit:
Step one- Set the mood. Light fragrant candles, and play soothing music that evokes positive emotion.
Step two- Lay on your back and get comfortable. Perhaps place a rolled up blanket under your knees and or head.
Step three- Inhale fully. As you exhale imagine relaxation spreading over your entire body. Resume your natural breath.
Step four- Be an observer of your natural breath. As you inhale your body rises up, and as you exhale your body sinks towards the earth.
Step five- As you inhale say to yourself “peace” and as you exhale, say, “calm”. Repeat several times.
Step six- As you exhale, consciously tell yourself to let go of anything negative such as, anger, sadness, resentment or fear. As you inhale, consciously tell yourself to breath in anything positive such as joy, love, peace, or abundance. As you let go of the negative and breathe in the positive, become aware of each muscle in your body relaxing.
Step seven- Continue to breathe in peace and exhale calm. Relax until you feel it is time to awaken. Roll over onto your side, and be aware of the positive difference in how you feel. Take a couple of deep breathes. Slowly press up to a seated position.