In spite of how essential relaxation is to well-being, many people do not really know how to relax. The following yoga based exercises will also help you learn some of the subtleties of relaxation.
The first relaxation exercise is very good for releasing some of your physical and mental tensions. Lie down on your back, feet shoulder width apart, arms relaxed, a little away from your body, palms turned upwards. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, following your breath’s journey with your conscious attention as you inhale and exhale through the nose. Make sure some of those breaths get into your belly and, while you are exhaling, imagine all your tensions flowing out of your body with each outgoing breath. You can also do a version of this sitting at your desk.
Another excellent relaxation exercise to do while lying down with your eyes closed uses creative visualization and affirmations to relax completely. First do at least 3 rounds of steady through the nose, and then just move naturally into a calmer natural breathing rhythm of your own, observing with your inner awareness your breath’s journey. Listen to your breath.
Become aware of your head and neck, maybe gently move your head from side to side a few times and relax back into the center. Inhale deeply and then, as you exhale, give yourself the inner direction to release and let go of all tension you are holding in your neck and head. Feel the tensions flow out and away as you exhale.
Next move your awareness into your shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. Perhaps flex or tense them a few times and let go, then breathe into them and, as you exhale, imagine all the tension you hold in that region flowing away. Then move your attention down through your chest, middle and abdomen, breathing into these areas and releasing all tension as you exhale. You may need 2 or 3 rounds in a particular area to let go of all the held tension. Continue downwards, through the pelvis, hips and buttocks, thighs, knees, legs, feet and toes.
By learning the art of relaxation you can do more to ensure your future good health and well-being than any tonic. Reducing your stress levels is something only you can do for yourself and the single most important contribution you can make to your healthy future.