Relaxation Techniques

  • Child's Repose

    Upon entering the world, my daughter Mira suffered a brain injury. Within seconds, my husband and I were thrown into a whirlwind of unfamiliar words, a loss of our vision of a healthy birth, and an unknown future anticipated with both fear and intense love.

    How yoga helped a mother see her daughter's disability in a new light.
    By Cindy Kaplan
  • Reclaiming Calm

    Once a bright student in his Gaza City classroom, 16-year-old Ahmed (name changed to protect identity) could no longer concentrate. His school performance took a nosedive after he watched Israeli soldiers kill his best friend. Images from that day haunted him: his friend’s body in pieces, his face ghostly white, and blood everywhere.

    Nightmares. Anxiety. Flashbacks. A traumatic event can trap you in a cycle of pain. Get your life back with these mind-body techniques.
    By Kristin Bjornsen
  • Embrace Your Curves

    Leaning against the wall, I bend forward and raise one leg 90 degrees into Half Moon, a balance pose. When I’m steady, I unfurl my arms: one to a block on the floor, the other skyward. Supported by my standing leg, I feel like I could fly—all 175 curvy pounds of me.

    Yoga helps you love the body you have—now
    By Laurel Kallenbach
  • How Do You Spell Release?

    Ever wonder what your body would feel like without tightness, pain, or stiffness? Or how it might be to sail—rather than stoop—your way through the day? Bodywork might hold the key to regaining your body’s natural elasticity, bringing you back into balance—and grace—in ways you never believed possible, at least not since you kissed your 30s good-bye.

    Find the bodywork technique that works best for you.
    By Charmian Christie
  • The OM Advantage

    I got into yoga as a college student on a typically tight budget. To save money I decided to memorize my favorite sequence and practice at home. It was love at first Sun Salute.

    The joys of a home yoga practice don’t have to come with years of experience. This sequence designed by yoga icons Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman will help you get started, and stick with it.
    By Nora Simmons
  • Slow Down, You Move Too Fast.

    The day the dog started barking whenever I flipped open my cell phone, I knew something was wrong. I’d had hints before, of course: Kids who didn’t feel listened to, work details I couldn’t remember, even a seriously stubbed toe when I tried to push a laundry basket across the floor with one foot while holding two trash cans in my arms.

    Giving up multitasking brings surprising rewards.
    By Barbara Rowley
  • Come Into Clarity

    Yoga offers powerful self-healing tools for women with breast cancer—from diagnosis and treatment through recovery. How you practice yoga is as important as what you practice, so be sure to:

    Balance effort with relaxation.
    Treat yourself kindly.
    Challenge yourself—but never strain in a pose.

    How yoga helps breast cancer patients find balance again, on and off the mat.
    By Carol Krucoff
  • Moving Through Addiction

    For Ana Forrest, yoga began as a form of poor man’s therapy. Sexually abused as a child, living in poverty, not having enough to eat, Forrest’s early life seemed a setup for addiction. In the beginning she turned to drugs, alcohol, and food—anything that could help her check out. At 18, her addiction was bulimia. She ate and ate and then purged.

    Sun Salutes offer an alternative 12-step program.
    By Elizabeth Marglin
  • No Need to Meditate Perfectly

    I sat cross-legged on the living-room rug, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and tried to quiet my mind. Alas, random thoughts persisted, flickering about like fireflies on a summer evening. After five minutes, I abandoned my Zen pose. I would have rather folded laundry or gone on a 3-mile run—anything with more tangible results.

    How one woman learned to let go and welcome stillness.
    By Susan Lembo Balik
  • Yoga Rx: Endometriosis

    The severe pain and heavy bleeding associated with endometriosis impacts nearly 5 million US women. While there’s no cure, yoga can help manage pain. Try these poses from Yoga for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle by Linda Sparrowe (Natural Solutions’ editor-in-chief) and Patricia Walden (Shambhala, 2004).

    By Nora Simmons