We all have stresses in our lives—work, home, families, health, money—the list goes on and one. Stress can manifest itself physically and emotionally and can affect every layer of our being, or our 5 Koshas (Annamay Kosh or Food Sheath (Outermost of the Pancha koshas), Pranmay Kosh or Vital Air Sheath or the Life force, Manomay Kosh or Mind as distinctly different from intelligence Sheath, Vigyanmay Kosh or Intellect Sheath, Aanandmay Kosh or Bliss Sheath (ceaseless joy not connected with body or mind and the innermost of the Pancha koshas, Chitta Kosh or spiritual wisdom, and Sat Kosh or the Final state of merging with the Infinite). When we are stressed, our muscles tense up getting ready for a “fight or flight” mode and if this tension is not released, it will cause dis-ease in our bodies.
Relaxation is nature’s antidote to stress. When we learn to relax, our bodies begin to let go of tension caused by the fight or flight condition and begins a process to heal, energize, allow blood and air flow freely, calm the mind. But learning to relax is not always an easy thing to do in today’s fast paced, hectic world.
So what can you do to learn to relax? Take part in either passive or active relaxation activities depending on what your body calls for you to do. The type of relaxation you do can change from one time to the next, but its all good. Types of passive relaxation are listening to music, lying on a beach, sitting outside in nature just listening to the sounds around you, having a massage or Reiki session, using passive progressive relaxation techniques and guided imagery, just to name a few. Active forms of relaxation can be exercise, fixing something, yard work, taking a yoga class—the possibilities are endless!
Finding the right style of relaxation that fits you may take some trial and error. But once you find the style that works for you, practice on a regular basis to receive the greatest benefit. And it is a practice, but one that with time and patience you can master.
At Shaolin Kempo Academy we believe in a holistic approach to mental and physical well-being. Along with our traditional martial arts and kickboxing classes, we also offer yoga and special workshops in guided relaxation/imagery and Reiki services. Sign up to receive our e-newsletters so you receive notification of when these special events take place.
For more information see the following:
The Five Koshas
What is Reiki?
Guided Imagery Scripts