April 20, 2008

Relaxation Technique # 1

Morning all! Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days.

Spring Fever has hit and I’ve got the Spring Cleaning Bug. These are the first beautiful spring days in New York and I have been taking total advantage of them.

I could tell how much I have gotten accomplished by the aches and pains I have been experiencing at night and in the morning so I have been using an old technique I learned years ago to help relax my muscles, (which gave me the inspiration to write today‘s post).

Ironically this a technique I learned in 8th grade gym class (many years before my “spiritual study quest“) but it always worked so well for me that I find I am still using it after all these years.

This is an especially good technique to use before bedtime because it is so relaxing it will often put you to sleep. So it is not recommended for the middle of the day if energy is what you are looking for.

If you have problems falling asleep at night however due to stress or restlessness this is the perfect exercise for you.

It is an exercise where you tense and relax all of your muscles until you feel them disappear.

Start by lying flat on your back in bed, hands at your sides. (Your head on a pillow of coarse is fine if you are shooting to fall asleep).

Close your eyes and take a few deep breathes in through your nose until you feel your abdomen rise (not just air in your chest) then release the breathes gently out through your mouth.

Start by tensing both of your feet as tight as you possibly can as you steadily count to the number 8 - when you reach 8 slowly start releasing the muscles in your feet as you steadily count back down to 1. When you reach 1 imagine that your feet have totally disappeared and now the only body parts you can feel is from your head to your calves. Imagine your feet have disappeared into oblivion.

So it is going to be tense, tense, tense, to number 8, release, release, release back to number 1 then “disappear“.

Take another 2 or 3 deep breathes. Now tense up both your calves and count up to 8 and back down until they disappear. Now all you will feel of your body is from the top of your head to your knees. The rest has disappeared into oblivion. A few more deep breathes.

Continue to do this with your knees, thighs, butt, stomach, chest, arms, hands, shoulders, neck, head and even face.

By the time you are done with every body part, you will get the most awesome feeling of having “no body” - that you are just breath. Now just keep deep breathing and focus on “being”. As if you are simply “presence” itself. If you find your mind starting to wander anywhere just focus on the color black as you continue to breathe.

This usually has me asleep within 3 minutes time. I’ve told a few others about this exercise and they have confirmed that it works just as well for them.

So if you are looking for a quick easy way to relax and sleep at night or even if you are attempting to nap during the day, give this a try.

It works wonders.

Happy Creating!