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1. Relaxing the Body

Often the muscles become strained because of the tensions of the mind, which in turn keeps the mind on edge. It is therefore good to start by relaxing the body as much as possible, while remaining alert.

  • Sitting in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor, try to keep the spine straight, but not too rigid. Keeping the body poised will help you focus your mind, and avoid falling asleep.
  • Starting at the top of the head and working down to the toes, focus on each part of the body, noticing and releasing any tension. This often builds up in the neck and shoulders without us realising.
  • Spend some time relaxing the muscles more and more deeply, while remaining poised, balanced and upright.

2. Breathing Techniques

  • Focus all your attention on your breath. Do not try to hold the breath or to breathe unnaturally, but see if you can comfortably and gradually make the breathing deeper and slower.
  • Often we use only the top part of our chest to breathe, especially if we are tense. Try to breathe in fully, allowing the lungs to extend freely.
  • Try to keep the breathing quiet and peaceful. If it helps, you can imagine that someone has placed a thread in front of your nose, and you are trying not to disturb it. Just let it come naturally; never try to force the breath.
  • Then feel that you are breathing in through the different parts of your body. Imagine that each part is a door through which you can breathe fresh energy into your your whole being.
  • If you still feel restless, imagine with each in-breath you are breathing in peace into your whole being, and with each out-breath you are releasing all the restlessness out of your body and mind.

3. After The Exercises

You may feel either sleepy or energised after the exercises; either way try not to rush into any stressful activities again straight away, or start watching something chaotic on television for example. Spend some time quietly, either just resting, or reading, listening to music, or maybe taking a walk in nature, so as to absorb and assimilate what you have gained through the exercises.

“Relax,
Relax soulfully,
Relax powerfully.
You are bound to feel
An inflow of creative energy
And constructive enthusiasm.”
Sri Chinmoy

« Preparing for Relaxation and Meditation

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