You Are At: AllSands Home > Health > Alternative > Basic yoga
The easiest way to begin relaxing through yoga is to control your breathing. A good technique is as follows: Lie on your back, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose a short, quick breath followed by a deep, slow breath in the same inhalation. Breathe from the diaphragm area, so your stomach will protrude when you inhale. To make sure you are doing this, place your hands on your abdomen with the fingertips of each hand touching each other. When you inhale, your fingertips should separate about an inch or so, and when you exhale they should touch again. Make the inhalation last ten seconds, hold the breath for ten seconds, and then expel the breath in the same way you inhaled. That is, exhale a short, quick blast followed by a slow exhale lasting ten seconds as well. Exhale through the mouth. Do this at least ten times or until you have developed a timing that is controllable and comfortable. Try to envision a calming scene with soothing noises surrounding it. Breathe in this way until you begin to feel relaxed.

While controlling your breathing, tense or flex your right foot for about fifteen seconds or until it begins to burn somewhat. When the foot feels tired or as if you just ran up a flight of stairs, stop flexing and let the tension out. Next, tense the left foot for fifteen seconds and release in the same manner. Apply this tension and release to every other major muscle in the body, working from the lower body upwards. Flex and release the calf, thigh, stomach, and chest muscles, and then move on to the bicep, tricep, forearm, and hand muscles of each arm. Do the same to the neck and back muscles as best you can, and then the buttocks. Make sure you only work on one muscle group at a time, i.e., right hand muscles only. When you have tensed and released all of the major muscles, go back and re-tense and release any area that still feels stressed. The whole process should take about 15 to 20 minutes, and the body should feel warm and relaxed when you have completed the exercise.

Once you have tensed and released the major muscles in the body, continue to breathe deeply from the diaphragm, relax, and enjoy the warm, soothing feeling for another 15 minutes. This whole routine can be done very effectively in under an hour, and when you open your eyes and stand up to face your next daily task, you will bring a clear head to the situation. The greatest part of this exercise is you can do as much or as little as you want to, anytime and almost anywhere. Again, this is very basic yet very effective if you’ve never done any yoga or meditation.