Yoga for Arthritis : Reduce Stress through Focused Relaxation

Yoga for Arthritis : Reduce Stress through Focused Relaxation


(gentle music) – For this relaxation
practice, you can be lying down on the floor, on the sofa or bed, or you can do it seated. If you’re sitting, ideally
put the legs up on something so that they can relax, or let them rest with the
soles of your feet on the floor if necessary. You also wanna be up against a wall so that the head can
rest against the wall, and you can really let
the weight of the head relax into the wall. If this is uncomfortable for your neck, you wanna roll up a
blanket or put a pillow behind the neck for support. So we’re gonna start by relaxing all of the parts of the body
from the feet up to the head, and we’re also gonna relax
the breath and the mind, and then we’ll spend a few minutes just enjoying that relaxation. This is something that you can do when you’re trying to
fall asleep at night, when you’re feeling tense
and would like to relax, or at the end of a yoga practice after you’ve moved all of
the aspects of your body and are ready to just let go. So begin by closing the eyes gently or keeping them lowered and soft, whichever feels better for you, making sure that the head
is supported and relaxed. And begin by becoming aware
of the tips of your toes, and just allow the tips
of the toes to soften. Imagine that a wave of
relaxation is moving from the tips of the toes
to the balls of the feet, the arches, the heels, and the ankles. Let the relaxation move up, softening the shins and calves, relax the knees, the large
muscles of the thighs and the hips. Feel the weight of the pelvis sinking into the support beneath you, and then feel that relaxation moving up to the sides of the waist, softening the abdominal organs, relaxing the low back and the low ribs. Feel the relaxation continue
to move up the torso relaxing the whole ribcage, softening the sternum,
relaxing the heart and lungs. Feel the shoulder blades sink, the shoulder joints soften, feel a sense of ease
and calm in the chest. Now become aware of
the tips of the fingers and allow them to soften. Feel the relaxation
move from the fingertips into the knuckles, the palms,
backs of the hands and wrists. Let the relaxation move up the forearms into the elbows, the
upper arms, and shoulders. The arms are fully relaxed. Soften the neck and the throat, slack in the jaw, let the
tongue relax in your mouth. Feel the eyeballs sink into their sockets. Unfurrow the brow, let all the
muscles of the skull relax, the whole head is relaxed. The whole body is relaxed. And now become aware of the breath. Feel the breath rise and fall. A process of renewal,
drawing in what you need, letting go of anything
that no longer serves you. Each breath is an opportunity to let go just a little bit more, to sink a little bit more
deeply into this relaxation. Notice that each exhale is
just a little bit slower, a little bit longer than the one before. Become aware now of the mind, and notice any thoughts that are moving through the mind. Allow the mind to relax. Let go of any thoughts
that aren’t serving you in this moment so that the
mind can restore and renew, so that the mind can just be. And with this relaxation of the body, the breath, and the mind, enjoy just a few moments here in silence with a sense of deep, natural inner peace. Slowly begin to deepen the breath, drawing in new energy. And allow the energy of that full breath to move through the whole body, introducing movement wherever
it feels comfortable. Maybe you wiggle the fingers and toes, roll the wrists and ankles, the shoulders, turn the head gently side to side wherever it’s resting. And then as you’re ready,
gently blink the eyes open, and bring yourself away
from whatever support has been holding you. And now you’re ready to move
back into the rest of your day. Thank you so much for joining me in this yoga practice, namaste.

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