Deep Relaxation With Yoga
By Didi Anandamitra Acarya (Ananda Marga Yoga Society)
Extracts from “Yoga for Health”
Modern life is a perpetual race against time. Business pressures, hurried meals, over stimulating entertainment, improper food, indulgence in alcohol and drugs, continual emotional tension and anxiety–all are taking their toll in nervous indigestion and fatigue, restless sleep, strain and irritability, as well as
all the myriad other psychosomatic illnesses that beset modern humanity. Today’s human being has completely forgotten how to relax.
Babies and yogis have not yet forgotten the art of relaxation, the ability to completely rest at will. Yogis have practiced this art since ancient times. They began their experimentation on this state bywatching animals in deep relaxation during sleep, and especially during hibernation.
During even a few minutes of deep relaxation, there is a rapid fall in blood pressure and pulse rate, and the strain on the heart is reduced. The overtaxed nerve centers are revitalized and muscle tension drops even below the basal muscular tension level. Since during deep relaxation only a very small amount of vital energy is being consumed, the remaining energy that is being constantly produced by the cells of the body can be conserved and accumulated for future needs. Disturbing emotions and worries dissolve from the mind. The whole body is thus reinvigorated in the shortest possible time, and many ailments, especially those due to nervous tension, may be relieved completely.
Yoga practitioners do not need to go on vacation to relax. They can remain seated next to the traffic of a busy metropolis and can transform themselves to the point that they hear no sounds, being relaxed and quickly self-possessed on a chair, just as if they were on a Swiss green valley, in a state of perfect and conscious peace.
When this deep relaxation is carried over to the state of activity, the muscular reflex respond more rapidly to stimuli and every task can be performed more efficiently, more effortlessly. Through the practice of deep relaxation and meditation, yoga practitioners develop the ability to keep their minds and bodies in perfect equilibrium in all situations.