Massage on the Run 's Blog

Aid your Relaxation With Yoga

May 16th, 2014 • Posted by Email Marketing • Permalink

Yoga is like getting a massage from the inside out. Yoga does not replace massage, but it is a great compliment to your wellness routine. Yoga is more than stretching and certainly is not about twisting yourself into a pretzel. Yoga is about alignment.

As we align and lengthen our bones, our muscles are gently stretched. Using intention to send our breath to the spaces opened by our stretch bring comfort and nourishment to the muscles and surrounding organs. Exhaling brings a release of any life-long holding patterns that have been engraved into our muscle memory, causing unbalances and disharmony. Let them go.

Unlike many western exercises, Yoga stretches minor muscle groups. This can increase blood flow and health to the organs lying beneath those muscles. Also unlike western exercise, there is an emphasis on the mind-body connection. Hence the name, Yoga meaning to Yoke, or connect, the mind to the body, the mental to the spiritual.

Breath is emphasized by gently inhaling and exhaling though the nose. Does the breath initiate the movement? Or the movements initiate the breath? The answer to both questions is "Yes." Some Yoga classes may include Pranayama, which are Yoga breathing exercises. Prana is more than the breath; it is our energy or vital life force. The breathing exercises encourage breath to move through the body, clearing any blockages and promoting health.

There are many styles of Yoga from the very restful Restorative Yoga, designed to recharge your Immune System, to the very active Flow (Vinyasa) yoga, which is more aerobic and sometimes practiced in a heated room. Some styles (Hatha, Iyengar, and Annusura) provide opportunities for muscle work, when holding standing and other poses.

When you first start out it is best to attend a Yoga school. This will ensure you develop the correct technique before practicing by yourself at home. Warning -- you may get hooked after you experience Yoga's addictive, yummy inner sense of calm and a connection to your powerful inner self; and the experience of getting a massage from the inside out!