Category Archives: Relaxation

Is Yoga just stretching?

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The truth is that yoga is anything you want it to be.

There is A LOT of stretching in yoga, but…what’s really going on when you stretch one muscle is that you’re actually flexing another. This relationship is known as “extensors and flexors.” When the extensor muscle relaxes, the flexor muscle strengthens.

These muscle groups are known as skeletal, forming around the bones to bend and straighten joints while creating motion and activity in the other surrounding muscles.  Muscle groups are being toned and shaped, while internal organs are being purified and massaged.

By adding conscious movement, your body and mind will stretch and strengthen. It’s up to you how much you want to either relax into a pose or activate and strengthen your muscles. Just be mindful that you are approaching each pose with grace and ease.

Whatever the style of yoga it is that you practice, you are dedicating time to connect the mind, body, and breath.

Much like life, yoga is not a destination but rather a journey that unfolds before your very eyes. Be the silent observer of your body and allow yourself to watch and appreciate the amazing things it is capable of doing and you may surprise yourself with what you as a whole being can achieve.

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So today is the second day I have had to stay home from work with a mild, but still very painful case of shingles. As with all things life throws at you, there is always a positive aspect and that is to pay even closer attention to what my body is telling me (than I normally do).
I am a very healthy person, I eat well, take regular exercise and sleep exceptionally well, so when something crops up like this, it’s good to stop and assess what’s going on. My guess is that my immune system has been weakened due to the severe winter we have just experienced!……..I smugly congratulated myself that I didn’t get even the slightest cold, BUT, it appears my well-being has still taken a bit of a battering and manifested itself as shingles…(on reflection, I think I would have preferred a cold!!)…..never mind onwards and upwards!
I am also a great believer in the universe guiding me and this week is no exception… the beginning of the week I received a call to say I would be unable to hold my usual Friday class as the venue was (unexpectedly) unavailable…..and then two days later I find myself unwell and not able to teach anyway!…..definitely a message there for me…and I am listening!!!
Very often when we feel unwell we tend to think total rest is the answer, and of course, we should conserve our energy to fight the illness. However, I find the sluggish feeling I get when I sit and rest just makes me feel worse and hampers my recovery, so the answer for me is to always do my morning Yoga… matter how I feel. I just adapt my practice accordingly to a very gentle sequence which helps keep my energy levels up. Just ten minutes of Yoga is wonderful and all that is needed, provided you choose the correct Restorative poses that are extremely relaxing but also give the body a gentle stretch….and if you feel up to it, you can do them just before bed tooThe poses I recommend are rag doll, reclined goddess, childs pose, easy pose with forward fold, extended puppy, knees to chest (back massage) & corpse. Give them a try and let me know how they made you feel.
I wish you good health and self-love ♥
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