Yoga For Your Health – Pg 7
Imagine you are on a cloud and that your body is slowly sinking through it. Keep your eyes closed and think of something peaceful, a lovely piece of music perhaps or the sound of the sea. Put on a soothing record if you like or open the window and listen to the birds. Tell yourself that you are drowsy and comfortable over and over again.
Now then, what about those knots of tense muscles around your mouth, your eyes, your stomach and your legs? Go over all areas of your body and locate any knots of tension there might be. Be stern with them. Make them loosen up. Very likely they will tighten up again as soon as your back is turned so to speak but keep your mind’s eye open and consciously and repeatedly relax any clenched muscles. The worst offenders by far are the muscles of the face. You are clenching your teeth and your jaws right now are you not? You would be surprised at the number of people who do that, even in their sleep. The counter measure is yawning. Do it as often as you can but do please choose appropriate times as yawning is not socially acceptable in many circles and your commendable efforts to teach your facial muscles to relax might be misinterpreted! Open your mouth as wide as you can, stretch your jaws, tense your facial muscles and then suddenly relax them. Keep practicing that movement and you will soon rid yourself of teeth clenching. That in itself is a good start
So you are lying on the floor in the Corpse Posture and you are finding that it isn’t as easy as it looks to relax. It is easy to lie down on the floor but you think I am unreasonable to ask you to relax every muscle, do you not ? But it can be done. I can do it and so can many other people. It takes constant practice but how worthwhile is time spent towards this end for Savasana is one of the greatest vitalizers known to man. Perform it whenever you are tired, angry, upset, or brain-fagged. Perform it whenever things get on top of you. It is not time wasted. It is Yoga’s ‘masterly inactivity’ working for you.
No one is too madly busy to be quite unable to practice the art of relaxation at least once a day. Give to it a little of your time and it will repay you a thousandfold. What about those few minutes before you get into bed at night? Are you too busy then?
When you have made some progress with Savasana your feet will be set firmly on the Yoga path. Its great influence will begin to work for you. As you grow more and more able to smooth away the tensions in your body you will find that the tensions in your mind will also become less. Problems which seemed mountainous will, if you practice and perfect the art of relaxation, be reduced to a size whereby you can cope with and overcome them. But to return to you lying on the floor and thinking yourself into relaxing those tense muscles.
What about that mind of yours running round in circles? What about that eye of yours on the clock ? What about that nagging worry at the back of your mind that you should be up and about doing things? No, you are not really relaxing at all. Let us try again. Let us approach Savasana from another angle.
I want you to learn to stretch. A simple enough request but, you may ask, is this Yoga too? Just—stretching? It is indeed. As you read this book it will become more and more apparent to you that although Yoga is a Hindu science three thousand years old, a spiritually based way of life, a contemplative philosophy and a profoundly dedicated art,