Basic Yoga Poses
Yoga helps us find peace within ourselves. American spiritual teacher and activist, Peace Pilgrim, said that when we find peace within ourselves we can easily live in peace and harmony with others. The mindfulness that is a part of the practice of yoga helps us stay in and appreciate the present moment.
Basic yoga poses, or asanas, that help us find that inner peace
Finding that inner peace can come with a variety of yoga poses, but there are some asanas that are specific for calming and relaxing us and putting us in a meditative state so we can find that inner peace:
1. For calming what yoga teachers call the Monkey Mind (that has tricks and jumbles of thoughts to keep us from relaxing), the following poses are recommended:
a. The Sun Salutation series, along with standing poses engages the mind, distracting the Monkey Mind part of us.
b. Use plenty of equal inhalations and exhalations, while bringing the focus to the periphery of the body from the center.
c. Poses that require left arm, right leg and then right arm, left leg working in unison help to balance your focused attention along with your calm awareness.
2. A sequence for getting ready for meditation involves relaxing the clenched jaws, slowing the rapid, shallow breathing, and calming the body to where meditation can take place:
a. To reduce the stress of the day, langhana practices are recommended. They involve exhaling while holding poses for several seconds.
b. Seated forward bends and twists are great for this, with special emphasis on hugging the belly in toward the spine during exhalation, with the exhalations lengthening progressively.
3. For a great time out, try restorative yoga, with conscious, rejuvenating relaxation that renews the body’s energy by creating calmness in your nervous system and openness in the body.
The Supta Baddha Konasana is the pose to try here, as it allows the body to enjoy a deep state of rest for from 5 to 20 minutes. The pose is great for and inner thigh stretch, opening of the hips, and creating better circulation to the organs of the lower belly. The chest opening is similar to that found with Savasana.
The way to perform Supta Baddha Konasana is to exhale and lower the back onto the floor, leaning on your hands first, and then leaning back on your forearms. Use your hands to ease your lower back and upper derriere onto the mat. Support your head and neck on a blanket roll or bolster as you finish lowering your body to the floor. Put your feet together and bend your knees, bringing your feet toward your body. As you do this, rotate our hips outward to a comfortable position of relaxation. Pretend your knees are floating toward the ceiling as your body settles itself on the floor. Then relax into the pose. The first time you do it you may be only able to do it for one minute, but each time you do it you can gradually extend it to get the full benefit of its relaxing effect.
Finding our inner peace helps us meet the challenges of the day.
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