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The basic tools of yoga are
breath awareness known as
pranayama, meditation, positive
affirmation known as mantra,
visualisation, postures known as
asanas, relaxation and voice work
known as chanting. All of these
tools can be utilised to promote a
sense of wholeness.
                                                                 
POSITIVE AFFIRMATION
You can use positive
affirmations or “mantra” in
meditation if you have a
particularly active mind. A
traditional yogic mantra is “Om
Shanti Shanti Shanti”. (Shanti
means peace) which you repeat
over and over in your mind as
a way to distract your thoughts!
You could alternatively repeat
“I am Peace” if you don’t fancy
Sanskrit or make up your own
positive statement.
VOICE WORK
Voice work (know as chanting)
is the repetition of a “mantra”
or positive statement out loud.
You can chant traditional yogic
ones as I mentioned above
or make up your own
statements and sing them
repetitively, you can chant “OM”
or “AUM” or simply the vowel
sounds of a, e ,i, o and u.
Voice work is excellent for anybody
that is self conscious. It helps to
overcome shyness, assists in
creating confidence in expression
through the voice. Each sound
also creates a soothing vibration
that can be felt in the body.
BREATH AWARENESS can be used to
keep the body healthy and the mind
calm. By breathing optimally you are
firstly going to increase the amount of
energy that is available to you, then
by becoming aware of the effect the
breath has on the body, you can very
quickly change the state of your mind
and the normal reactions you may
have to stress just through increased
breath awareness.
POSTURES
Yoga postures are stretches that
help to realign the body to bring
about good posture, flexibility,
strength and tone to the body,
whilst many gently massage the
internal organs, assisting the
body to cleanse and detoxify.
Each movement is linked with
breath awareness.
RELAXATION
Relaxation is so important in
maintaining balance and wholeness,
as night follows day so must our
bodies rest after action if it is to remain
healthy. Many of us never fully relax
even when sleeping, as the mind
continues to be active the body is not
completely at rest.
Yoga nidra relaxes the muscles and
releases tension in the physical body
whilst the mind stays conscious but
still. This allows the nourishing subtle
energy of the breath (known as Prana)
to flow freely, and complete relaxation
to take place. Many of us need re-
educating on how to relax properly.
Sitting slouched on the sofa watching
television while the mind is worrying
about the one hundred and one other
chores we have to do but lack the
energy, often results in more
exhaustion, guilt and the inability to
finish ones chores! Taking just a
minute to sit and be, allowing the body
to open and the mind to quieten can
instantly re-energise our whole
systems, especially when we are
lacking in energy and clear
perspective.
Learning to act in a relaxed manner is
also beneficial to maintaining a feeling
of wholeness. When we do this we are
less likely to fall into the patterns of
energy spurts followed by depletions.
MEDITATION
Meditation is a way of
quieting the mind. There are
many meditation techniques,
the most simplest being to
focus your attention on your
breath. You don’t have to sit
in lotus posture or even cross
legged,you can simply sit in a
chair, preferably with your feet
on the floor and your spine erect
(or you are likely to drift off into
sleep!)
Stress Free Zone
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c: Rachael Hawes
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