Meditation will nearly always be included in my classes, it is part of Yoga to work with mind body and breath.
In Meditation we are working with the mind. There is nothing that mysterious about meditation, we are simply training the mind to stay focused on one thing. The object of that focus might be the breath, sensations in the body, a physical object like a vase of flowers or sounds. What nearly always happens is that the mind 'has a mind of it's own' and it will wander off onto something else, this is quite normal. Our task is simply to notice this and bring the mind back to where we have chosen to focus it.
Our attitude when we notice the mind has wandered is also key, this isn't a failure, it is a success that we have noticed. So bringing the mind back is just part of the process, doing this kindly will greatly help.
We might do anything to relax, have coffee with a friend, watch a movie, play sport or many other things. These can be really valuable in life, watching a film can be a wonderful form of escapism, going out for a meal with others helps build social bonds. When we relax in a Yoga class however we are relaxing our whole system, mind body and breath. Movies, sporting activities or going out with friends for example all involve some mental stimulation and/or physical activity.
Relaxation here provides the time and space to allow a pause, so we can fully rest. I use various techniques including visualisations, progressive muscle relaxation, rotation of awareness, body scan, following the breath and others.
Relaxation is the last thing we do in class to round off that feeling of wellbeing