By: J Noghteagle
Preparation. 1. Relaxation;
Exercise 1. ( This can be done in a group, alone, or with a partner. Begin by lying down on your back. Do not cross your limbs. Loosen any tight clothing. ) In order to know how relaxation feels, we must first experience tension. We are going to tense all the muscles of the body, one by one, and keep them tense until we relax our entire bodies with one breath. Don’t clench the muscles so they cramp, just tense them lightly. “
Start with your toes. Tense the toes in your right foot… and now your left foot. Tense your right foot… and now your left. Your right ankle… and now your left ankle… ( Continue through out the whole body, part by part. From time to time, remind the group to tense any muscles that they have let slack. ) “
Now tense your scalp. Your whole body is tense… Feel the tension in every part. Tense any muscles that have gone slack. Now take a deep breath… Inhale … ( pause ).. Exhale… and relax!” “ relax completely . You are completely and totally relaxed.” ( In a sing-song tone:) “ Your fingers are relaxed, and your toes are relaxed. Your hands are relaxed, and you feet are relaxed. Your wrists are relaxed, and your ankles are relaxed.” ( And so on with the entire body. Periodically pause and say:) “ You are completely and totally relaxed. Completely and totally relaxed, Your body is light, it feels like water, like it is melting into the earth.
“ Allow yourself to drift and float peacefully in your state of relaxation, if any worries or anxieties disturb your peace, imagine they drain from your body like water and melt into the earth. Feel yourself being healed and renewed.” ( Remain in deep relaxation for ten to fifteen minutes . It is good to practice this exercise daily, until you can relax completely simply by laying down and letting go, with out having to go through the entire process. People who have difficult sleeping will find this extremely helpful. However do not let yourself to drift off into sleep. You are training your mind to remain in a relaxed but alert state.
Later you will use this state for meditation work, which will be much more difficult if you are not in the habit of staying awake. If you practice this at night before sleeping, sit up, open your eyes and consciously end the exercise before dozing. Many of the other exercises can be most effectively practiced in a state of deep relaxation. Experiment to find out what works best for you.
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