A story, yoga nidra and namaste.

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Yoga outside formal sessions
Beside the formal practice of yoga, I frequently use the elements of yoga during other activities. E.g. we may practice a little at the end of psychotherapy workshops. It is especially useful after long sitting or when we have dealt with some difficult and heavy psychological material. This “miniyoga” is also helpful to deal with tiredness and boredom. It works not only in addicts. Once I gave a lecture to business people. When I arrived, I found them tired and bored. We exercised a little bit and their mood instantly changed. When these people gave their feedback to the organizers of the workshop, my lecture was considered the best. I suspect that it was because of what we did, and not because of what I said.

Some examples of “miniyoga“
Heavenly stretch or dynamic Tadasana: For our purposes I call it “Delights of abstinent life”. Begin in the standing position with the feet slightly apart. The weight of the body is equally distributed on both feet. Raise the arms over the head. Interlock the fingers and turn the palm upwards. Place the hands on the top of the head. Fix your eyes at the point on the wall slightly above the level of your head. Inhale and stretch the arms, shoulders and chest upward. Raise the heels coming up onto the toes. Stretch the body from the bottom. Hold the breath and the position for a few seconds. Lower the heels while breathing out and bring the hands to the top of the head. Practise 5 to 10 times.
Chopping the wood or Kashtha takshanasana: For our purposes I call it “Hammering the pillars of abstinence”. The only difference from the practice as it is described in Satyananda (1996) is that I do not practise it in the squatting position but in the standing posture and bend the knees slightly while moving the hands down and exhaling. The full posture would be too difficult for most of my patients.
Wings: Begin in standing position with the feet slightly apart. Lift the arms sideways to the level of shoulders. While inhaling move the hands stretched backwards, and let the chest expand. While exhaling the stretched hands move to the front of the body so that the palms and fingers touch each and the head is bowed with the chin touching the chest at the end of exhalation.  Practise 5 times or so. I usually add to this practice that the patients leave behind them all the problems which alcohol or drug abuse caused in the past, and move on to the better future.
Bow and arrow (Akarna dhanurasana): We practice as described in Satyananda (1996). Usually I ask the patients to target a positive aim in the external world when the right hand is pulling the bow-string, and an aim in the internal world when the left hand is pulling.
I am: Begin in standing position with the feet apart on distance of the width of the shoulders. During inhalation move stretched arms sideways. At the end of exhalation the palms are on the level of the head. During exhalation beat your chest gently with the fists and pronounce long “I“. Repeat this once more and during next exhalation repeat in the same way “am“. A variation: Instead of “I am“, we laugh at all drug dealers and alcohol or gambling industry because they will get nothing from us in the future.
Tadasana (static)
Sometimes I use it instead of relaxation, if it is not possible to lie down. At the end I often suggest: You are standing in a firm, steady and relaxed manner now and you can stand so in your life as well.”

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