|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 75 ]
Achieving Relaxation Through Yoga is a differnet type of relaxing. In yoga relaxation the mind is able to control the body and disconnect, so-to-speak, the wiring or nervous input to the muscles in the body, and allow us to reach a level of tonus reflective of a state of true relaxation.
Optimum sleep produces a physical state of decreased metabolism which allows the body to rejuvenate and regenerate itself. It also frees the mind from conscious activity, which provides an opportunity for cleansing and rejuvenation on the mental level as well. All this happens when the body reaches a state of tonus of 38% or less.
However, due to the high degree of stress and anxiety that exists in the lives of most people today, many are unable to slip into this optimum state naturally to receive all these benefits. Dr. Swami Gitananda notes that most people sleep within a state of tonus that is closer to 60%, inhibiting them from receiving all the benefits of sleep.
Rather than providing a state where metabolism is allowed to decrease, creating an environment for the body and mind to repair, replenish and rejuvenate itself, this 'tense sleeping' leaves people waking in the morning with low energy and lack of rejuvenation, in the end, greatly accelerating the aging process.
The importance of adequate sleep - sleeping within a state of tonus of 38% or less - cannot be overstated. Yet poor sleep is noted as one of the chief complaints of most people today, especially those with chronic health problems.
There is a direct correlation between proper sleep and good health that cannot be denied.
Yoga relaxation is a conscious and intentional process, which achieves the same objectives of decreased metabolism and relaxation of mental tension and anxiety, making it a most effective approach to rejuvenation and the support of overall health.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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