This is called a yoga-type programme because it merely takes a few of the classic yoga concepts and marries them to a relaxation technique. Classic yoga is in essence a Hindu philosophy and seeks a union with the supreme spirit. Yoga (from the word yoke) stresses this binding together, with the object of progression down a common path. It relies on abstract meditation and mental concentration. Many yoga techniques involve breath control, but in our mastery of the relaxation response we use breathing as the centrepiece around which we build a particular exercise, rather than as an ascetic practice. In other words, the ‘yoke’ of our yoga is a binding together of pendulum breathing with muscular procedures, aimed ultimately at the experience of the relaxation response.
In half an hour’s relaxation the following yoga techniques can be managed in the first 20 minutes.
1. Stand, stretch and breathe
2. Leg balance and breathe
3. Aeroplane (1)
4. Sit and stretch, press-ups and chest twist
5. Bhadrasana or Virasana
Devote 10 minutes to either Bhadrasana or Virasana, during which you may find a selected mantra useful.