When we seek relaxation, we’re not talking about a nap — well, not always! Deep relaxation is found in active and intentional rest and recovery. However, learning how and when to use restful techniques is critical in finding balance in our wellness routine. As an instructor, it’s important to vibe to relaxing classes (and moments) as much as it is to vibe to challenging and sweaty workouts. In fact, having an intentional balance between all-out exertion and its chiller counterpart is important to maintain inner + outer peace and stability. For that reason, we rallied some super chill ways to add extra restorative vibes to your workouts.
In case you missed it, Relaxation Day was held on August 15, but let’s be real, we need more than one day a year to celebrate some R + R. Try incorporating these techniques into your classes (year-round) or devoting a whole class to simply relax and restore.
It’s not hard to see (or feel!) that some poses are more relaxing than others. By incorporating asanas such as child’s pose + puppy pose, you can give attention to mental and physical relief sprinkled throughout class. For poses that elicit relaxing effects as the class winds down, you might try legs up the wall and savasana. Both calm the body, bring a gentle awareness to self and create a deep sense of active and intentional rest.
Whether you’re creating a class devoted purely to mediation or you’re carving out a slice of time during class to meditate, the effects are restorative and lasting. As one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, practicing mediation regularly can help with mental clarity, anxiety, depression, productivity, mood and (so much) more. Finding a quiet space in class to either guide students on a meditative journey or allow them to self-guide with an intention, will facilitate a relaxing vibe.
Adding essential oils is key in providing an environment that is welcoming and beneficial. Pleasant aromas have a way of making a class setting feel more layered and inviting. Plus, when you’re aiming for a calming energy, you can use specific oils like rose, lavender, camomile and geranium to enhance the chill moments.
Sound Bath Healing
The power of sound is real, fam. As one of the most intriguing senses, sound can connect with one’s soul on a level that is unreachable by other senses — creating a space of warmth, connection, healing and rest. Weaving intentional sounds into your classes, whether it be in the beginning, middle or end, can help infiltrate the soul and connect on a deeper level.
You know how to set the mood, Butisattva. A playlist is the driver of a workout, setting the tone and linking the beats to fill the room with the energy of the class. When you create a playlist with purposeful jams to promote slowing down, connecting and relaxing, you will create an environment that does the same. Typically done at the end of the class — to match the cooldown of a workout — the music should be gentle and warm to promote relaxation until the final moments of class.
Back to Nature
Your surroundings matter — but you already knew that! To increase the restful energy of your class, try mixing up the location and adding nature sounds into the mix. Sunrise yoga at the beach? Use the waves and birds to enhance relaxation. Meditation by a waterfall? Notice the rushing water as you rest in a deep state. Sunset class in the park? Take in the ruffling of leaves as the evening wind swirls. Mother Nature has a way of showing up in the most throughout ways to aid in restful connection to self — use her as much as you can!
Whether you add bits of relaxing techniques throughout your class or devote a whole class to chilling out, balance is key to creating consistency in classes — and life!