Did you know that tense muscles can affect all of the systems of your body, including blood circulation, posture and movement? Practicing this active meditation can help you to relax and reduce stress and muscle tension.
Remove shoes and loosen restrictive clothing.
Find a quiet place where you can lie on a firm surface for fifteen minutes.
Close your eyes. Quiet your mind. Breathe deeply, slowly and smoothly. Think of breathing out slightly longer than breathing in.
Allow yourself to become aware of your body. Do you feel tension, pressure or discomfort? Note where these feelings are.
Continue the slow, deliberate breath.
Tense you right foot. Hold for a few seconds and let it relax. Tense your calf. Hold. And then release. Tense your thigh. Release. Repeat with your left foot and leg.
Form a tight fist with your right hand. Hold a few seconds. As your release, feel your whole arm become limp. Repeat with left arm.
Tense and release each buttock.
Tighten your stomach muscles and, as you release, feel your stomach and chest become soft and warm.
Bring your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold, and then gently allow them to relax down. Slowly roll your head from side to side as you consciously release neck tension.
Become aware of any stress or tension you are holding in your face and head. Relax as you continue breathing slowly and smoothly.
If there are other areas of discomfort or you become aware of any returning tension, repeat the tense and relax method.
Continue with the relaxing breath for a few minutes. Gently roll to your side and get up.
This method of active meditation allows you let go of your stressors, removes tension from your body and provides an inner calm and quiet in our busy lives. Once you create this easy fifteen minute habit, you will be amazed that you didn't start a relaxation program sooner.
Joan Gilbert, Physical Therapist Assistant, Rehabilitation Specialist, Myofascial Release and CranioSacral Therapist, Healing Touch Therapy