How to Incorporate Relaxation and Meditation into a Mind-Body Routine - dummies

How to Incorporate Relaxation and Meditation into a Mind-Body Routine

By Therese Iknoian

After you go through your asanas for the day, taking a few minutes to relax your body is always a pleasure, and is also a good time to meditate. Corpse and Easy are great postures to encourage relaxation and medication in your mind-body workout.

Corpse is not only a posture for ending a session, but a fine way to start one if you need a little meditation and rest before beginning. Be sure to breathe and feel yourself melt into the floor. You can start or finish your session with Corpse.

  1. Lie flat on your back on a comfortable carpet or mat.

  2. Place your arms at your sides, palms up, relaxing your shoulders down into the floor.

  3. Let your legs roll outward to relax the hips.

  4. Close your eyes and practice good deep breathing for a few minutes.

    Try to stay focusedly unfocused on the moment, without letting thoughts, incidents, stress, or frustration from the day interrupt your flow or possess your mind.

Easy (Sukhasana), sounds easy enough, but if your hips or back are tight, it may be far from it. Easy is basically the classic cross-legged position that is the first step toward getting into the classic (and more advanced) Lotus position.

You can modify it by sitting on a folded blanket or block to allow your knees, hips, and legs more freedom. Either way, you stretch your hips and back, and it can be a good way to prepare for other postures as well as to meditate or rest. Try Easy during your warm-up, stretching, or relaxation sections.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs comfortably extended in front of you.

  2. Bring your right leg in toward you, then fold the left leg back toward it so the legs are shin-to-calf or ankle-to-ankle.

  3. Rest your hands on your knees, sit tall, chest lifted, and breathe easily.

    Imagine someone has a string tied to the crown of your head and is pulling upward. You want to feel tall and light, not sinking and heavy.

  4. Now try sitting with the left leg pulled in first. Notice which side (meaning which hip) is tighter and more difficult to sit with tucked in closer.

    Remember which is your tight side and be sure to try to sit that way more often to help loosen it up.

What to avoid in these mind-body postures:

  • Sinking down into a curved back

  • Letting your abdominals pouch and relax

  • Jutting your chin out in front of you