Internal Yoga is a yoga practice that was designed specifically for the Western lifestyle. It utilizes a combination of gentle stretching exercises, meditation and visualization techniques. Practitioners of Internal Yoga find an increase in flexibility and toning, as well as better sleep and relaxtion.Internal Yoga can also boost your body's innate healing ability by stimulating the immune system and programming the mind to engage in healthy habits.
Wearing your loose clothing, spread out your yoga mat or clear a space for you to work. Put on your relaxing music, if you are choosing to use any.
While standing, take one deep breath and raise your hands above your head. Hold for five seconds, and forcefully exhale as you lower your hands. Mentally imagine any stress or anxiety leaving your body with your breath. Repeat this step three times. Remember that minding your breath is the most essential component of Internal Yoga.
Begin to do some gentle stretching exercises. Here are some types of stretching you might do:Seated poses: Sit in a chair and extend your legs. Or, sit on the floor with your legs extended and reach toward your toes. Don't worry about how far you stretch, simply go as far as is comfortable.Standing poses: Stand with your legs spread at a comfortable distance and reach upward. Also with your legs spread, reach your fingertips to the ground. Again, don't worry about how far down you can go, just feel the gentle stretch in your legs and lower back.Floor poses: Lying on your back, stretch your arms upward, above your head. Then, stretch them outward, so that your body forms a cross or a "t." Roll onto your stomach, stretch your arms above your head, and move as if you were "flying." If it feels comfortable, raise your head and legs off the ground.Remember, the type of stretching you do is not important. What is important is that you gently move your body in a way that feels good to you. Make the movements gentle and flowing, rather than harsh or painful. If something hurts, stop doing it and move another area of your body. While you are stretching, imagine the blood flowing through your body. Focus inward as you stretch each muscle. Continue to take deep breaths.
After a few minutes of gentle stretching, sit or lie in a comfortable position. Begin some progressive relaxation exercises. Visualize each muscle in your body as being warm and relaxed. Progress from your toes, all the way up to your head. Clear your mind of any thoughts other than this.
Once you are in this relaxed and receptive state, repeat the following affirmation either in your mind or aloud: "My body knows how to heal itself. I activate this healing power now. My cells are perfect and healthy, and any dis-ease is corrected now." While you are doing this, imagine any ailments dissolving. If you have arthritis, for example, imagine the joints feeling warm and limber. While you are repeating this affirmation, imagine the dis-ease healing itself. Repeat this affirmation and visualization five times.
Lastly, take five deep cleansing breaths. Focus on a feeling of gratitude for your health. Repeat this Internal Yoga practice daily, as your body's internal healing ability strengthens each time you practice.