A friend of FPQ, Cyndi Lee is founder of OM Yoga in New York City, author of Yoga Body, Buddha Mind, and teaches yoga trainings, retreats and workshops worldwide. She is also the yoga expert on Lifetime TV's fitness show, "My Workout." We asked Cyndi to share with FPQ readers a simple tip for bringing more relaxation into daily life.
A Pose That Refreshes
By Cyndi Lee
The relaxation pose that completes each yoga session is a traditional element that is considered to be one of the most important parts of any yoga practice. This is when the physical benefits of the postures have a chance to be absorbed deeply into your nervous system.
I know what you’re thinking -- who has time to relax? Well, you may not have time to do this every day. But when you are able to release your outgoing efforts through this pose, even for a few minutes, it may reveal a lot about yourself. This information is a very important step toward achieving more balance in your daily life.
For example, you may actually find out that it is hard for you to let go. Or you may discover that your mind is very active. Or you may fall asleep immediately and discover that you are even more exhausted than you thought. Some believe that the relaxation that comes from this “letting go” pose is more restorative than sleeping. When you sleep you toss and turn, have vibrant dreams, negotiate the blanket with another person – who might even be snoring! The quality of relaxation after doing a yoga practice is so yummy that once you experience it, you will understand how simple and valuable it is.
Try to make a commitment to doing at least a few minutes of relaxation every day. If making that commitment creates stress, then forget it; just do what you can. But here's my preferred method (you can also take a look at the accompanying illustrations):
Lie down on your back and put your legs up the wall. This is a real yoga pose called viparita karani and the benefits include increased circulation of lymph fluids and blood in the legs and lower belly, which relaxes the brain and improves digestion. My favorite way to do this is on my bed with legs up the head board and a pillow under my low back and another under my head. Even 5 minutes in this pose will have a positive impact and it’s my proven way to find peace and quiet when you need it most.
You can find out more about Cyndi Lee and OM yoga at www.omyoga.com.
You can purchase her books at amazon.com.