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The Art of Slowing Down

  • 4 min read

Mention yoga to most people and they will conjure up images of people performing a series of slow-flowing movements and postures, but what many will not mention is the deep stillness and tranquillity that many styles of yoga bring to both the mind and body. Yoga encourages you to focus on your inner self with a series of mental and physical exercises that calm and balance the mind and strengthen and align the body. You have time to reflect and feel the effects on your body as it moves into different positions. Yoga helps you to understand your body much better and to learn about yourself. In this busy modern world we live in, many find it very restorative to have the opportunity to slow down and connect with their inner self.

With yoga less becomes more

Today, many of us lead busy lives that are filled with various activities, time-watching, families, and friends and often it becomes a frenzy of non-stop action that can prove stressful for many. The popular saying ‘stop the world I want to get off’ describes how most of us feel in the carousel of everyday life.

Yoga offers the chance for us to step aside from this hustle and bustle of daily life and is the perfect opportunity to pause, reflect and reconnect with our inner self. Yoga gives us the insight to understand ourselves and about being.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years and is a workout that reunites mind, body, and soul. For this to be possible, participants must slow right down, leave their worries at the door and focus inwards to refine their perception and awareness. With everything that goes on in our daily lives, it is very easy to be oblivious to the beauty and wonder of a pure being. Away from outside stimulation, we can encourage our minds to explore our own inner world and its sensations and to become aware of what ‘being’ really is.

In yoga, these powerful experiences are combined with new and deep breathing techniques which emphasize the strength of our powers of awareness for time, place, and other people. With these experiences, those practicing yoga regularly find that enter a new phase of interconnection with their inner self.

Yoga is the pathway

All styles of yoga can result in the state of pure being, but Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga both encourage the fullness of this special experience because they are both slow forms of yoga that give the individual the space to experience true mindful sensations that nurture this newfound awareness.

Both of these styles of yoga are perfect for those seeking a quieter and rebalancing style of yoga. The workouts for both are on floor mats and postures are achieved through a series of movements and then held for a number of minutes. Both styles nurture and soothe the body’s nervous system. Both Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga have periods of stimulation but at the end of the session, the prevailing sense is one of deep calmness and tranquillity.

Introducing Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is a style that gets its name because it is based on traditional Chinese medicine that works with the meridian lines in the body which are two energy channels. One is called ‘yin’ and is feminine and the other is ‘yang’ and is masculine.

This style of yoga has the core principle of coming to the body’s limit with each pose and developing the ‘ying’ which prioritizes time over intensity so that at the point of the body’s limit, the position can be held for an increasingly longer period. Yin Yoga also incorporates moments of total stillness.

The key points of Yin Yoga are:

● It increases mobility and flexibility through a series of stretching movements

● Some positions are held for 3-5 minutes to intensify the deep stretching

● This style of yoga has a positive effect deep in the connective tissue (fascia)

 

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Restorative Yoga

This popular style of yoga is based on hatha yoga which harmonizes energy (prana) in the body by balancing the rising masculine energy of prana with the stable feminine energy of prana. The core principles of Restorative Yoga are comfort, subdued lighting (to prevent stimulation), peace, and comfort. Following these principles will promote deep relaxation.

The key points of Restorative Yoga are:

● A delicate practice that promotes relaxation and restoration by encouraging the body to release deep-rooted tensions.

● Restores the body’s equilibrium to encourage natural healing so it is beneficial for people recovering from illness and accidents.

● No physical effort is needed as the body is encouraged to maximize on relaxation in between the sequence of movements

Both of these styles of yoga are relaxing and rejuvenating and both can be practiced individually or interwoven with great success so that a workout can help develop the body’s range of movement and also rebalance body, mind, and spirit when caught up in the hustle-bustle of daily life. We have found that the two styles compliment each other perfectly and give the opportunity to reconnect with your inner self and to help you feel deep calmness and spaciousness. They can successfully be used whenever and wherever you feel life is getting too hectic.

If you like the sound of Ying Yoga or Restorative Yoga, why not try them for yourself? Both styles will bring you a very special inner peace that is ideal in today’s busy world.

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