be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Saturday, January 2, 2010

About Relaxation



We need relaxation because we have lots of tension and stress in our body and the mind (physically, emotionally and mentally). If we know how to stop generating tension and stress into the body and the mind, we don’t need to do anything to achieve relaxation at all.

Even when we try to escape from our life, our living environment, our family, our relationships, our job, our responsibilities and our daily routines, and go for a holiday on traveling, we will still end up with different types of tension and stress.

Even though yoga practice is supposed to release tension and stress, but due to not knowing the real meaning of yoga practice, we are building up tension in our body and the mind instead of releasing the tension from the system when we try to perform the asana exercises or pranayama. This is due to we are trying too hard to be perfect or good in our performance and having judgment, comparison, competition, criticism and expectation towards ourselves and other people while doing the practice. It is because we still haven’t detached from identification with our body, the mind and the ego yet. We are still caught up in the differentiation of dualities about whether we are good or not good; whether we are flexible or not flexible; whether we are strong or not strong; or whether we are capable to perform certain poses or not.

If we know how to relax our body and the mind while we are doing the yoga practice without generating any tension into the body and the mind, and then our body and the mind can absorb the benefit from our practice much efficiently. We can concentrate better and can remember what we have learn in the class as well.

And throughout the entire session of yoga practice of asana and pranayama; concentration and meditation, we need enough rest or relaxation in between each practices for the energy in our body to be restored and rebalanced before we move into another position or practice. All the practices should be done in a relaxed manner and not rushing to finish the practice as soon as possible due to impatience or wanting to do something else.

We should never strain ourselves in all the practices just because we put some pressure onto ourselves for our performance because the ego wants to challenge the body to go beyond its limitation.

At the end of our practice, it is very important to lie down or sit for 10 to 20 minutes to appreciate the calmness and peacefulness that we attained from our practice just by observing the breath without trying to interfere or to control or to change the rhythm or the pattern of the breathing. Learn to be an observer; be aware of the breathing and accept the breath as it is. If the breathing is slow, let it be slow. If the breathing is fast, let it be fast. The breath itself is not slow or fast. It has no intention to be slow or fast. It is the mind having the differentiation of slow and fast; compares the breaths and judges the breath as slow or fast. By observing the breath and accept the breath as it is without any comparison and judgment will bring us calmness and peacefulness in the mind. And thus the body and the mind is getting a very efficient relaxation.

Even in everyday life, we learn to be aware of the present moment; being concentrate on where we are and what we are doing; let go the past instantly from moment to moment; and not let the mind wonders to the past and the future; and remain equanomous unaffected or not disturbed by all the happenings in the world and in our body, and then we will not generate any tension or stress into our body and the mind. We will be at peace.

May we all learn to stop generate tension and stress into the system, and that is the most effective relaxation that we can get, even though throughout the day every moment in our life, our body and the mind is receiving lots of different inputs without us being aware of it. But we can avoid putting extra tension and stress into our body and the mind by letting go all the thoughts, feelings and sensations; and not to identify or associate with them.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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