Relaxing, a word that conjures up images of people watching television, hanging out over a few drinks with friends, playing video games, shopping, getting a massage, going out for coffee or ice-cream, reading, cooking... though these are different from the work that one does to earn their livelihood, they are all still “activities.” Playing the Xbox may not involve extreme physical movement, but the mind is still active and responding at high speeds. The mind demands as much energy to be expended as the body. When the mind is this wound up, it carries this excess stimulation into the space where the body and mind are meant to be rejuvenating. Disturbed sleep is a good enough indicator that you aren't relaxing.

Ideally relaxation is the time where you let your body and mind unwind and just connect with each other. But this seems to be an alien concept in modern society. I get astonished looks from students when I ask them to lie down, close their eyes, relax and do nothing. But that is the point — relaxing at its deepest state is doing nothing. It is allowing your mind to disengage from its heavily bombarded senses and just letting it ease into a state of restful peace. The following posture is a simple one that can be done before bedtime to help you truly relax.

Matsyakridasana (Flapping Fish Pose)

You will need a yoga mat or carpet and a couple of pillows.

Lie face down with your fingers interlocked under the head.

Bend your left leg sideways and bring the left knee close to the ribs.

Make sure that your right leg is straight.

Tilt your torso to the left so that the left elbow touches the left knee.

If your hip and leg feel stiff, place a pillow underneath the inner thigh.

Rest the right side of your head on the crook of the right arm.

Breathe normally and close your eyes.

Pay attention to each part of your body starting from your head down to your toes.

Let your joints, muscles and bones relax as you breathe deeply.

Stay in this position for a while and then move onto the other side.