the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
When I ask students, what do they want to get out of yoga, I hear one answer more often – relaxation. This response is so common that even Yoga Journalmagazine themed their August issue about it.
Why do so many of us need to chill out? The typical lifestyle for Westerners is go, go, go. We fill out to-do lists. We plan every minute of our days and our children’s days. Our work environment also compliments this busyness with meetings, emails and constant phone calls. And when we do have down time, we choose to fill it with television or scrolling our Instagram page.
I was taught from a young age that if I wasn’t working, I appeared lazy. I worked late hours at my first job after college in hopes to promote. When smart phones arrived, I connected myself to it nonstop just in case my boss needed something at 9pm. This busyness transferred into my current responsibility of caring for my children and home. I have to-do lists. I clean all the time. I tutor and play games. But the difference now is I utilize my yoga tools, and find more peace in my days.
Some perceive yoga as permission to relax. The physical poses stress and release tension in the tissues and muscles creating a physical relaxation in the body. The breath helps slow the mind to focus on the present moment and current state of the body. And finally, when we lie down in Savasana, our mind and parasympathetic nervous system gets a chance to reset lowering our blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. To sum up, it is reasonable to see why one would choose a yoga class for relaxation.
Together, the yoga tools, breath, mind and body, unite for that tranquil feeling every one associates with a yoga class. However, a yoga class isn’t the only place we can experience this feeling. We can incorporate all of these tools into our everyday lives. We can find time to move during the day. We can become aware of our breath and our thoughts throughout the day. We can use our breath to give us time before we respond. What we practice on the mat becomes our practice in our daily lives.
Give yourself permission to relax today.