Conscious Differential Relaxation (CDR)
When we achieve the asana/posture, some body parts and certain muscles are actively involved in it and other parts are kept completely relaxed. When we do this activity keeping the uninvolved parts and muscles relaxed in the final stage of the Asana/posture we call it CDR Conscious Differential Relaxation.
The beginner who practices yoga asana must consciously try and maintain a relaxed state of the body in the final stage. In Shavasana, every body part and every muscle is relaxed to the maximum and we achieve 100% relaxation.
Similarly, even while holding an asana in the final posture, the full body needs to be relaxed. As if it is in shavasana. There would be some tension in the parts that are being flexed, but we consciously need to relax other parts.
Once the body and the mind is relaxed, we become more aware them in the asana.
CDR helps the sadhaka to maintain the asana for a longer duration and achieve a firm rooting of the asana.
In the final stage of ardha pavana muktasana, the toes of both the legs are relaxed, the leg that is not folded is completely relaxed from the hip to the toes. The upper part of the body, shoulder, facial muscles are relaxed.
Rest all body parts which are not involved in the Asana like the feet, facial muscles and even the abdomen must be kept completely relaxed consciously.
This helps the sadhaka to maintain the Asana for a longer duration effortlessly leading to complete physical, mental and spiritual benefits of asana. And that way, as we say, we won’t just do yoga, We Live Yoga.
-Author- Sanjay Rajpurohit