Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Right Relaxation’

Daily Inspiration: 50 Ways to Take A Break

As we race from one responsibility to another, day in, day out, sometimes we forget to just… pause.

And if we do have time to pause, we often don’t know what to do with it! 

We love this poster created by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, author of Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Playful, sweet and actually helpful, this poster will give you all the inspiration you need to relax and make the most of a sweet moment in-between.

So, go ahead… Take a pause… It feels good, we promise.




The Benefits of Props in Savasana

The art and science of yoga may completely transform your relationship to relaxation. Savasana or “corpse pose,” offered at the end of yoga class, is one of the most fundamental, deeply-rewarding experiences in the practice. Taking time to support the body with props, introduced into yoga practice by B.K.S. Iyengar, helps to facilitate comfort and alignment in relaxation. Relaxation allows us to slow down enough to receive the effects of the practice and become interested in our inner worlds. Through the process of relaxation, we boost our immunity, reduce stress, release muscle tension, reverse the effects of aging, and begin to reconnect to our true nature.

Perhaps Iyengar’s ability to use gravity to his advantage and consciously relax attributed to his long, healthy life of 95 years! In this photo Iyengar is not only fully supported by blankets, bolsters and a strap, he is going deep with the addition of 75 pounds of added weight!

Go Deep: Check out how props might deepen your relaxation in your next savasana. Try a bolster or rolled up blanket under the knees, or a folded blanket placed on the pelvis and belly, or even just a thinly-folded blanket under the head.


Thanks to Nora (a fabulous teacher here at the studio) for sharing this image with us and this great reminder about Right Relaxation.

A New Kind of Summer Playlist…

Right Relaxation… probably tougher for New Yorkers than most people.

Sure the city is fast paced, sure work can be anxiety producing, sure we might not be getting enough sleep… but that’s the case for everyone so what’s the big deal?

Well, the big deal is, that by living in a state of almost constant stress — even just a very low base line of stress — we keep our systems flooded with the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol contributes to a plethora of chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, weight gain, and all sorts of auto-immune disorders including arthritis and chronic pain. You can read more about how cortisol works and its effects here.

The good news is more and more research is coming out showing the direct impact relaxation and meditation have on overall stress levels, and how these practices reduce cortisol levels. Here’s a great article from UC Davis about their research project, and another from Psychology Today that talks about the effects of simple meditation on our overall health and wellbeing.

So… where to begin?

Well – the good folks over at the Chopra Center have created a great little “playlist” of guided meditations on subjects ranging from empowerment to letting go of pain, to gratitude, to awakening creativity. Some are as short as 4 minutes, and others as long as 20 minutes. This is a great way to begin to invite meditation into your life if you haven’t already… just pick one, press play, and listen. That’s it. Just listen. You can be sitting or lying down, on the floor, in a chair or even in your bed! And for those that have an established meditation practice, there might be one or two gems in here for you as well…


    Click here to explore the Guided Meditation Playlist



It might feel weird at first, taking time out of your busy day to just sit still and listen when you could be doing laundry/paying bills/running errands/working… the list goes on and on, I know! But, bottom line is, the impacts on health and wellbeing are vast, which has implications for all areas of our lives. Give it a try… Even five minutes a day counts.