YOGA AT MOUNTAIN AIR HEALTH
Relaxation is a science requiring careful attention, patience, and practice. It usually takes several 'levels' to get really relaxed. Quite often, we think we're relaxed, but then upon reflection, realize that we have a shoulder clenched, or that our back is bunched up. Many people wake up during their sleep with various muscles clenched, resulting in cramps, jaw grinding (bruxism) and bad sleep in general.
Muscles are made to be 'cycled' - that is flexed, stretched, and relaxed. When a muscle is denied this function, it reacts by first weakening, then stiffening, and then spasming, often during sleep. The restlessness of insomnia is that the mind is tired, but the body is not. The body wants to be worked. Most people only use a few of their muscles and tendons on a day to day basis, driving or sitting in front of computers, and so have bodies full of muscles craving to be exercised.
Because yoga systematically works, relaxes, and oxygenates every muscle / tendon group in the body, it is immensely therapeutic for all kinds of physical ailments. It is also totally compatible in combination with other physical arts and exercise techniques.
Another benefit of yoga is on the inner organs, from the twisting poses, which massage, stretch, and flex them, oxygenating them and helping them to release toxins and blockages.
An important feature of the vinyasa [routine] is the relaxation phase of each pose. Even if the yogi chooses to move swiftly from one pose to the next, at each complete posture, there is a moment of "stopping the world" - that is, breathing deep, centering, slacking the unused muscles (see below), and pausing. This is the "grace point," or the "gravity point," or the "moment of becoming a statue."
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