31-12-2014 Relaxation

There are several forms and techniques of relaxation, explained by gurus according to the requirement and capacity of practitioner. Some of them are designed to relax the nervous system; some of them are designed to relax the muscles. Here, a specific relaxation technique is given that is designed to train the wandering mind and stiff body for both hath yoga and meditation practice.  The great yogi, Swami Ram of the ‘Himalayas’, recommends this relaxation technique as the preparation for yoga practice to all initial practitioners.  He advises to practice this exercise for three minutes before every hath yoga practice session. This exercise can be practiced for several weeks or until the body and mind learn to let go the muscular tension that is prerequisite of meditative and yoga practices.

To practice this relaxation technique-

  • Lie down in Shavasan, keeping the body as relaxed as possible and try to breathe evenly. There should be no jerk in the breath.
  • Tension your facial muscles trying to pull them towards the nose. Alternatively tense and relax them twice or thrice.
  • Close your eyes and keep them shut gently throughout the exercise.
  • Roll your head from side to side gently and repeat it several times.
  • Gently pull your shoulders forward, and relax them again.
  • Now stretch your right arm. Do not make a fist or raise the arm from the surface you are lying on. Release the arm and relax.
  • Repeat the same with the left arm.
  • Tense and relax your hips and buttocks.
  • Stretch your right leg without lifting it from the surface and then relax the same.
  • Repeat it with your left leg.
  • Now relax your body starting right from your toes, following legs, thighs, buttocks, torso, neck, shoulders and forehead.
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