In one of our last blog posts , we explained the basic idea of yoga and introduced you to the eight-step yoga path. Today we would like to show you four relaxing exercises to train mindfulness. Note that yoga is not a competition. You shouldn't necessarily see it as a sport, but much more as a path of exercise. It's about getting in touch with yourself and listening to your body's signals.
Initial relaxation – while sitting
Come on your mat. Sit in a meditative position and close your eyes. Feel your sit bones. The pelvis is slightly tilted forward and the spine is erect. Let your shoulders relax and drop down. The hands rest lightly on the thighs. Relax your facial features. The lips touch only lightly, the tongue rests softly in the mouth. With your eyes closed, focus your attention on the sounds outside the room. Maybe you hear cars or the wind. Just acknowledge these sounds. Next, turn your attention to the sounds in the room. Maybe you hear a clock or creaking beams. Just take note of these noises as well. Now pay attention to the sounds in your body, your breath, your heartbeat. Put your attention here: Inward, not outward. Now direct your attention to your breath. Where do you feel your breathing particularly clearly? Is it the rise and fall of the abdominal wall, or do you feel the breathing movement more in the chest area? Can you feel the air going in and out through your nose? When distractions arise, simply classify them as thoughts, feelings, or body sensations and let them go. Again and again. Perceive each breath as unique, unique and fresh. Keep catching your mind and bringing it back to that one time breath. Thoughts pass on like clouds and you return to that one breath again. Always bring yourself back to the present moment. Now slowly come back into this room. Direct your attention to your body. Feel the weight of your body. Feel your head, neck and shoulders, arms, entire back, pelvis and stomach, legs and finally your feet. Then take another deep breath in and open your eyes. stretch yourself
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – standing upright
Feet are parallel, third foot apart. The weight is evenly distributed on the soles of the feet. You feel the balls of your big toes, small toes and heels. The pelvis is oriented forward, and from the pelvis the spine straightens, the sternum rises, the chin to the sternum, shoulders are deep. Imagine that there is a thread attached to the crown of your head that is pulling you up. Connect to the earth in your imagination. Imagine roots growing out of the soles of your feet. Feel the earth supporting you as your crown of head strives towards the ceiling. And feel the straightening of your spine. Erection always starts with rooting! Then shift your weight to your toes, to your heels, to your right side, to your left side, on the outside of your feet, on the inside of your feet. Claw your toes, spread them out. Inhale and come to tiptoe. And lower.
In case you're wondering what's so difficult about standing, this is about alignment from the soles of the feet to the top of the head. It's about perception. You are stable as a mountain. It's also about straightening your spine. This seemingly easy pose requires a lot of mindfulness, concentration, and body tension—all at the same time.
Stretching exercise: stretch tense neck – lying on your back
Lie on your back and put your feet up. Raise your right arm and place it comfortably behind you as you inhale. The arm now stays where it is. On the next exhale, let your head roll to the left as easily as you can without resistance. Perform the movement together with the breath as slowly as you feel comfortable. On your next inhale, roll your head back toward the center. The right arm is still behind. Only with the following exhalation move the arm back next to the body. Then breathe in and out very freely once or twice in between, before repeating the process with the other arm (left arm, head rolls to the right). Do this exercise five times in a row and try to connect the movement with the breath.
Crocodile (Nakrasana) – supine position
Lie on your back. Extend your arms sideways at shoulder height. Stand with your feet wide apart. Exhale and let your knees sink to the right. The head gently turns in the opposite direction. Inhaling, return to the center. Exhaling, lower your knees to the left, your head turns to the right. Keep breathing rhythm. At least 6 times each side.
Bring your knees to your chest, grasp your knees with your hands. Keep your neck long, breathe easy. Put your feet up and let your legs slide out one at a time.
This mobilizes the back structures in a physiologically meaningful way, starting from the pelvis and going up to the neck. The exercises can be performed by people of all ages.
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