IRT (Instant Relaxation Technique) – 1 minute
Lay in shavasana. Breathe a few deep breaths and relax. Tense every muscle in the body as much as possible, hold it for a few seconds, and release all the tension with a big sigh. Breathe normally and feel the aftereffects. The tense and release can be repeated a few times if desired.
QRT (Quick Relaxation Technique) – 10 minutes
Lay in shavasana. Relax every muscle in the body; a quick yoga nidra can be useful for this. Then bring attention to the belly as it rises and falls with each breath. Keep attention on the belly for several inhales and exhales. Then chant the “a” sound of “aum” with the attention still on the belly. Repeat several times. Relax into the aftereffects.
DRT (Deep Relaxation Technique) – 30-45 minutes
Lay in shavasana. Do a full yoga nidra, relaxing each muscle in the body in turn. When the entire body has been relaxed, bring the attention to the breath for several deep inhales and exhales. Then chant “a” while concentrating on the belly several times. Then chant “u” while concentrating on the chest area several times. Lastly chant “m” while concentrating on the head area several times. Relax into the aftereffects.
Pancha Kosha as the basis for Yoga Therapy:
One of the main principles of yoga therapy is integration and a holistic approach to health. A disease or disorder is best treated on multiple levels; in many cases there is not a single cause, but a multitude of contributing factors. This is the reason that pancha kosha is considered the basis for yoga therapy, because there is no more complete model of a human: it includes all 5 sheaths, or levels, on which a person exists. The annamaya kosha, or body sheath, is treated with asanas, kriyas, diet, and suxma vyayama. The pranamaya kosha, or energy sheath, is treated with breathing exercises and pranayama. The manomaya kosha is treated with relaxation techniques and meditation. The vijnanamaya kosha is treated with upanishadic wisdom, counseling, and happiness analysis. The anandamaya kosha is not so much treated (because it is already perfect), but identified with through karma yoga, bhakti yoga, surrender, etc. With this multi-limbed approach, most diseases can be treated. If the root of a disease is in the prana, or the mind, or the posture, then allopathic medicine is not likely to be able to cure it, only suppress it with medication. Any proper yoga therapy treatment will prescribe techniques that work on each sheath.
The soul-mind-body approach to health maintains that health begins on the soul level, and that the body is a manifestation of the soul. The soul is comprised of seven main qualities: knowledge, purity, peace, love, happiness, bliss, and power. Every soul possesses these innately, but they may be covered up by identification with sense pleasures. The person may look for these qualities in the world of sense objects, but external searching is futile. Each of these seven qualities is said to be responsible for determining the quality of a certain area of the physical body: love for the heart, knowledge for the nervous system, purity for the immune system and the senses, happiness for the gastro-intestinal system, bliss for the hormonal and creative systems, and power for the muscular-skeletal system. If one of these areas is lacking, its corresponding physical system will be lacking.
Pathology of disease according to the soul-mind-body approach is based on the above theory, but is focused mainly on TEAM – thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and memory. Negative TEAM blocks the flow of spiritual energy to various organs, which leads to disease in the target organ. Positive TEAM facilitates energy flow and keeps the organs healthy. Disease fundamentally starts with body consciousness (disconnection from the soul). The ego is seen as isolated, which creates negative TEAM, which may manifest differently in different people, but ultimately burns a lot of energy and facilitates the release of stress hormones and creates dominance of the sympathetic nervous system. In soul consciousness, there is a connection to the divine and a sense of oneness, and a flow of love and security. The “soul battery” is fully charged with a constant supply of unlimited energy. Positive TEAM flows naturally, hormones are balanced, and there is a parasympathetic dominance of the nervous system. Disease either doesn’t manifest or is healed by the free flow of energy.
Association for Yoga and Meditation
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