A deep sense of relaxation comes from within, not from without.
Happiness itself is the difference between expectation and reality and is often short-lived as a consequence. Contentment, on the other hand, is about acceptance and learning to be in the moment. Just as we are. This doesn’t mean we don’t have desires, ambitions and goals. What it means is that these external factors don’t control us. We don’t measure our sense of self, enjoyment and ‘happiness’ by them.
A yoga practice on the mat is the perfect place to work with acceptance and cultivate contentment.
Which is, of course, the ultimate state of deep relaxation. As long as we try to move our bodies with awareness (conscious breathing, heightened understanding of where our limbs are and what’s safe for the body), keep intention through the practice (opening the body compassionately where the postures intend), that’s Yoga.
It’s about trying to move away from the idea of achieving a certain aesthetic in a posture (an extrinsic goal) and working mindfully with where we are at now.
A regular practice teaches us to move with awareness and enjoy the journey, deepening into postures and learning new ones.
Trying to maintain a fluid breath, where inhales and exhales are the same amount of time, really helps to steady the mind. It’s impossible to maintain a steady breathing pattern and be aware of your entire body in a posture (from your toes to your fingers) if your mind starts wandering off to other things! A physical yoga practice, therefore, keeps us very present.
This focused but playful experience is what is so rewarding and relaxing on the mat. It reminds us what a wellness journey is all about. A light hearted, compassionate and conscious approach.
Enjoy the process, allow yourself to relax, and work with your body without too much focus on the end results.
Coming back to this playful vinyasa flow class from time to time will really help you relax and focus the mind. It will keep your wellness journey positive and fun, while you are following the Honestly Healthy Green and Lean Plan.