Relaxation and Stress Relief
Millions of us in our modern world suffer because we are constantly pushed and hurried. Rushing causes tension and stress. We are over-exposed over-saturated with incoming information 24/7. Any information that comes to you causes your sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight or freeze) to act or react. When you are exposed to stressors it is up to your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back down.
Stress can be reduced when you sleep, but the problem is the average person is not sleeping well (which is why we have an entire yoga for insomnia series on our membership site). Ideally we should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night and experiencing 90 minutes of R.E.M. Today the average R.E.M. is between 25-40 minutes, which is 1/3 to 1/2 of what it should be. This accelerates the aging process, puts your body in an acidic state and leads to more pain. Healing and cellular repair are not happening because we are not tapping into our parasympathetic nervous system (our restore regulator).
Your sympathetic nervous system is your body’s stress regulator and your parasympathetic system is your body’s restore regulator. Your stress regulator increases your heart rate, perspiration, and pupil dilation in response to what you perceive as incoming internal and external stress. Your restore regulator relaxes theses same functions in your body to restore your internal balance. Your ability to respond to stress and return to balance directly correlates to how healthy you are. Stress is one of the sole contributors to premature aging and the degeneration of your health.
Lots of daily activity causes our sympathetic nervous system to kick into action from watching tv, multitasking, reading, exercising, and working. When we are anxious, tense, and stressed out your sympathetic nervous system has to work a lot harder to do its job effectively. Way too often our sympathetic nervous system is asked to go into overdrive in our day to day lives.
When our stress levels (sympathetic nervous system) outweighs our ability to rest and repair (parasympathetic nervous system) we experience as stress imbalance. This attacks our enteric system and we experience all kinds of digestive problems, immune disorders, food intolerances, toxicity in our bodies, joint inflammation, foggy brain, improper muscles contraction and firing, chronic symptoms, fatigue, chronic inflammatory issues such as sinusitis, arthritis, colitis etc., anxiety and depression, sleep issues, constipation, and weight gain.
Yoga allows us to access our parasympathetic nervous system and restore your body’s sensitive balance. Through yoga you can bring your body back into equilibrium. As I have explained above, true relaxation involves more than just resting, but balancing and restoring your energy. Yoga excels in rejuvenating relaxation. Through yoga asana and pranayama (breath practice) you are able to release tension, stress, blockages in your body and experience deep relaxation and restoration of your energy.
Asanas/Yoga Postures: Deergha Swasam/ 3 part breath, half moon reclined/supta ardha chandrasana, apanasana/knee to chest pose, ardha supta virasana/ half reclined hero pose, Marjaryasana/cat pose, lunge pose/Anjaneyasana, pigeon/ eka pada rajakapotasana, peaceful warrior/reverse warrior, side angle /parsvakonasana, legs up the wall /Viparita Karani, Bhujangasana/Cobra/Seal, Zig zag twist, sage twist, bharadvajasana, Upavistha Konasana / Wide legged seated forward fold,
Props Needed: Yoga Block
Yoga with Melissa 192 Benefits of Yoga Series: Relaxation and Stress Relief Photos
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Great class! I plan on alternating this class with the evening insomnia class that I love, too. Legs up the wall is definitely my best relaxation pose. I totally let go. Today I put a small pillow under my head…awesome. I just bought a lovely book called,”Relax and Renew,” by Judith Lasater. In it she illustrates the many uses of props aiding in relaxation…blankets, pillows, blocks, straps, the whole nine yards of props. Interesting book and beautifully illustrated. I LOVE all of your classes, Melissa. Especially at this time in my life I appreciate having access to such a wonderful community. I love reading comments by other yogis around the world. Just another example of “we are all ONE.” Love and thanks to you. Namaste,xoxo
Barb38 Dear Barb, great idea, legs up the wall is such a great relaxation pose. Good to totally let go as you say. And I love your idea of adding more props for comfort. Judith Lasater’s book is amazing. I hope you enjoy it. You are so right about our yoga community connecting all of us from all around the world being another example of union. Namaste, Melissa
Thanks I did this class again, this time to help me with the jet lag , and has had a great effect for balancing body through these relaxing and calming class. Class also helped me to ground my energy, body and spirit to feel I am here and connected, after hours of have been in a plane. Barb after reading your comment, that I agree with all what you said, I also want to recommend class 103 from Namaste Yoga, yoga for the emotions, calmness
Erikapaezmanjarres Dear Erika, Thank you for your comments. What a great testimonial for grounding that you were able to feel like you’ve arrived and feel connected after being in a plane for hours. I’m happy for you. Thanks also for recommending another Namaste Yoga class too. Yoga for jet lag! I love it! 🙂 Namaste, Melissa
I just did this session, it works really well for me. But it is not so easy to stay in touch with the body and the breath. My mind tends to wander of.
It is interesting to compare those recent videos to your older ones. F.i. a few days ago I did your Yoga for Summer. Physically it looked a lot more active. I really had to work hard to get into the assana’s in time, otherwise you had already finished it! (I am exagerating a bit). But somehow the more quiet session are mentally more difficult. And I suppose that is what I am looking for, to learn to live in the here-and-now.
CarlavandeSchoot Dear Carla, It does sound like you had a good practice. It is so interesting that when the practice is more quiet for you physically that it becomes more challenging for your mentally. So then the yoga moves to your mental body as your mind focuses on learning to live in the here and now, staying in touch with your body and breath. That is such an important practice. And it is a yoga practice to teach your mind to come back again and again. 🙂
That older video you mentioned we used voice over because there was a lot of background noise the day we filmed and I agree with you the pacing is really off. There is not enough time to get in and out of the asanas. I did it the other day as part of the daily summer challenge and I was really unhappy with the pacing of it. It was physically a lot more active, but I think it was way too fast and didn’t give you enough time to BE in the postures.
Thanks for your feedback Carla. 🙂
Yes sometimes when I looked up you were already installed comfortably in the next assana! I was really dragging behind, it was quite funny at times, the way I kept tripping over my own feet and landing on my face!
It’s okay, everything is just great, it was not meant as a criticism. It must be tremendeously difficult, also technically, to make a good online yoga session. Students of course don’t know want you are going to do next, and we need more time than you to get things more or less right. And I do want to do things the way they are meant.
I just wanted to say that you are doing better and better all the time. I do your session 15 often as well, on yoga nidra. I just love it.
I love what Tim and you are doing, you really have an impact on my life.
CarlavandeSchoot Yes, that was my experience too when I did the class Carla! 🙂 And don’t worry, I didn’t receive it as criticism, it was valuable feedback. And you are so right, I know what I’m doing next, but you have no idea. This goes with my current mantra and intention of simplify, simplify, simplify. Thank you for your compliment on the progress. As I watch my older videos I can see how much Tim and I have both improved over time, it is cool to watch the evolution! 🙂 That’s cool about the episode 15 on yoga nidra. Did you know there are yoga nidra sessions on your membership site too? I think they are much more polished than that earlier one … speaking of improving over time! There is even one in the most recent Bhagavad Gita series. I’m so glad that you are enjoying the teachings. And thank you for your yoga and getting to your mat – THAT is what is creating the impact in your life. Deep bows, Namaste, Melissa
Great one!!! 😉 Thank you! I need yoga so much these days, trying to find time for more ……those side stretches are fast becoming my favourite! SO good;-) Jxoxo
JennAshton Glad you found some time for this one Jenn 🙂 I hear you about needing yoga in your life. I love those side stretches too, I can just feel it sooo deeply and internally relaxing the organs of my body. Yes SOOOO good! xoxoxo Melissa
I loved this class, Melissa, thank you. I have chronic fatigue syndrome which has flared up and down for 15 years and I also have adrenal fatigue, with my most recent crash about 9 months ago. It is very difficult for those of us with adrenal fatigue issues who are still trying to work out our cycling up and down – what to do at one point of time will aid recovery, but to do the same thing when you’ve crashed or when you’re beginning recovery can set you back again. It’s very confusing!
I did an intermediate class of yours the other day and I suspect it was at least for that day – and maybe this week or even the next fortnight or month – too much. This class is like a bolster between what I am able to do now to help me get back to where I will be able to function at a higher level again. I am just now downloading your restorative classes to give a little variety.
Thanks again for all that you provide for free. It’s much appreciated – you are such a sweetie.
suzieq777 Hi Susie I’ so glad that yoga has been an integral part of your recovery from chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue. I’m glad you are able to listen to your body and choose classes that work best for you. Namaste, Melissa