Complete Guide to Pilates, Yoga, Meditation Stress Relief
This guide has four main sections: pilates, yoga, meditation and stress relief. Following are an excerpt from each section:
1) Pilates: “Pilates exercises have been designed to work the muscles of the body as efficiency as possible in the minimum time. These low-impact exercises treat the body as a whole and are very effective. There is therefore no need to spend hours each day at the gym: you need to practice only two to three times a week, and can start with 10-minute sessions and build up to longer ones slowly.”
Included in the pilates section are guidance in correct breathing, how pilates works, what to wear, learning how to center the body, the importance of good posture, getting into motion exercises, standing and sitting exercises, and exercises on a mat.
2) Yoga: “By allocating time every day to a sequence of yoga postures, you can help to purge the mind and body, and achieve a state of deep relaxation. This can result in greater self-esteem, because you will have a sense of achievement and an inner calm that will help to dispel the worries of the day. The deep breathing and physical exercise required for yoga will help you to deal with a raft of complaints, such as pain of the joints and muscles, anxiety, stress, postural problesm, and bowel tone and function problems.”
Included in the yoga section are the five principles of yoga (relaxation, exercise, breath control, a nourishing diet, and positive thinking and meditation). Also added are guidelines for practicing yoga, the seven chakras of the astral body, yogic breathing, warming up exercises, the standing postures, seated exercises, improving focus with the balancing postures, opening the heart and strengthening the back, and the inverted postures.
3) Meditation: “There is no doubt that the mind’s ability to analyze, discriminate, plan and communicate has helped us reach where we are today. Yet it can be a double-edged sword. Although the brain may help us to reason, to think creatively, and to relate to others, if we don not learn to switch it off it can overwhelm us. It can persecute us with fears about failure, our appearance, or the opinions others may have of us. Meditation can bring relief from those anxieties by helping us to silence inner chatter, to recognize and dismiss negative thoughts, and to create a feeling of peace and serenity.”
Included in the meditation section are suggestions for finding time to meditate, preparing to meditate, postures and breathing, relaxation, affirmations, mantras, standing and walking meditation, the chakras, visualization, meditation for healing, color and light, the power of sound, and meditations for stressful situations.
4) Stress relief: “For long-term stress relief and optimum well-being you need periods of mental and physical relaxation throughout the day. Relaxation is a set of easily learned skills that will teach you how to combat the effects of stress and restore the balance between body and mind to enable healthy, happy living.”
Included in the stress relief section are a strategy for relaxation, relaxing your body, breathing, reducing muscle tension, massage, restoring vital energy, relaxing mind and spirit, meditation, visualization, hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, autogenic training, biofeedback, improving self-worth, setting goals, going with the flow, living for the moment, positive commuting, freedom from fear, relationships, diet, exercise, the world of work, relaxing at home, the world around you, getting a good night’s sleep, and natural remedies for relaxation.
More Language of Letting Go
Although Melody Beattie first taught me about codependency with her books, Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency, I have chosen one of her daily meditation books. Her other daily meditation book is The Language of Letting Go. I have chosen More language of Letting Go because of the selections included.
From the Book:
“This is a book of essays, meditations, and activities—one for each day of the year. The essay that falls on the first day of the month explores the theme for the month. Each monthly topic is a major component in the process of letting go.”
Excerpt from the book:
February 6—Revel in the void
“In the original Language of Letting Go, I talked about the in-between places in our lives. Those are the uncomfortable places along the journey where you’re not where you were but you’re not where you’re going either. I talked about accepting that place, no matter how difficult it might be.”
“Let’s look at this space again. Only now, we’ll call it the void. Take another look at that moment when one door has closed behind you and you’re standing in the dark hallway, but no door opens up. Or you let go of whatever you’ve been grasping so tightly and stand there with an empty hand. Don’t say woohoo just when you are begin something new. Feel the woohoo of this moment, too. Embrace the void. This wonderful in-between place holds the keys to all creation. In the biblical story of creation, God began with a clean slate like the one you face now. It was the magic and mystery of the void that allowed all this wonderful creation to be.”
“If you’re at am in-between place, don’t just accept it. Revel in it, embrace it, rejoice at your opportunity to sit in the birthplace of all that will come along your path. Relax into the void and allow creation to flow.”
“God, help me embrace the void and allow it to bring forth what is will, rather than trying to force something that really doesn’t fit.”