On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of teaching an intimate group of students meditation and relaxation. The class was themed around how to incorporate meditation and relaxation into your everyday life and we also discussed the concept of mindfulness.

So what is the difference between meditation and relaxation? In the eight limbs of yoga relaxation actually precedes meditation which is quite different to the way western classes teach yoga, where the class usually completes with relaxation.

Relaxation when practiced after asana (posture practice) and before meditation acts as the bridge from the physical world into our internal world. Also relaxation is generally taught in a lying down position on the ground whereas meditation is practiced in a seated upright position to keep the spine erect.

When the spine is tall and free energy can start to circulate and flow through all the spinal centres. Energy thus moves up into the third eye centre which is the centre of intuition and guidance. Opening this centre allows us to connect to our higher self and experience a profound level of peace. This then in turn has a positive effect on our mind in our day to day life.

The best method to incorporate meditation and/or relaxation into your life is to make it a daily habit. Just as you wake up and brush your teeth make it a daily practice to relax or meditate. You can start by practicing just five or ten minutes a day. Cultivating this time in the morning will set your mind up for the day. If you practice in the evening this will help you to release the day. Personally I always use a quiet alarm clock to really ensure that I do the full ten minutes.

Also another great technique is to practice the tension release relaxation when you get home from work or after  long busy day. I also find this helpful if i have been on long car journeys.
You can click here to listen to an audio of the technique….

Finally if you are unable to make meditation and relaxation a daily habit consider taking a mindful approach to life. Mindfulness is the concept of being present and aware in each and every moment. For example when eating try not to multitask and instead enjoy each bite of the food you are eating. Alternatively you can practice mindfulness whilst going for a walk in the park and really being present and aware of the things you can see such as the leaves on the trees, the colours of flowers, the smell of fresh air or just looking up and absorbing the expansive sky above you.

I hope this inspires you to take some time out for yourself to relax, meditate or to simply be mindful of your day to day life.

With all my love,

Jaina x

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