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Gentle Vinyasa Yoga for Relaxation

Gentle vinyasa is one of my favorite styles of yoga to practice. Some yogis (my past self included) see gentle yoga as boring or not as exciting as a more fast-paced hatha or vinyasa class. While gentle yoga is understandably slower, it can be argued that it actually requires MORE of an experienced practitioner to become comfortable with the meditative aspects of the process.

Concentrating on small, intentional movements that are linked with the breath, gentle yoga allows us to, essentially, meditate while moving and become more mindful of the subtleties happening around us in our daily lives.  

Try it now.

Bring your hands in to heart center and close your eyes. When you're ready, inhale and sweep your arms up over head. Lightly touch your fingers at the top at the top, using the entire breath to complete the movement. As you exhale, sweep the arms back down by your sides and through back to heart center. Repeat this same movement several times, with greater and greater awareness of all aspects of the body and breath. Can you notice the exact moment that your fingers come in contact with each other at the top of the breath? Can you be aware of all the muscles of your shoulders and back engaging to make this movement possible? Continue with this movement for as long as you feel comfortable.

Before you open your eyes, come back to stillness take a few gentle inhales and exhales at about the same speed, becoming aware now of the lack of movement. Notice any sounds you hear around you: birds chirping, cars passing by, the hum of a radiator or air conditioner. Notice anything you might smell on the air around you. Are you burning a candle? Is someone cooking in the next room? Finally, bring your awareness to any sensations you feel on your skin. Can you feel the breath expanding and contracting the diaphragm? Can you feel a breeze on your skin or perhaps your hair tickling your collarbone? Try to concentrate only on these things happening directly around you for at least ten breaths and then slowly open your eyes.

If you want more gentle yoga, I have a full class available on YouTube!