In this busy modern life, most of our days are full with deadlines, targets and one appointments after another. After a long day at work, we all need to relax and let go of the pressures of the day. If we can’t do that stress will accumulate over time and will manifest in the form of diseases like high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes and what not. The body is a machine and we seriously need downtime to recover from the daily stress.
Many Find it Difficult to Relax
Now, if you are the kind of person who finds it difficult to unwind, you’re not alone. Perhaps beside your nine to five job, you have responsibilities at home that require your attention – cooking, cleaning, looking after the kids. Maybe you try to get advantage over the next day’s workload by working into the night? Continuing on in this way can be physically and mentally exhausting as your body continues to expend energy. Over time, this can have seriously impact your overall health and well-being.
To help your mind and body relax and rejuvenate every day after work, you need to enjoy some ‘me time’. Solitude and silence in meditation can be the ultimate way to relax. But you don’t have to sit in a lotus pose and chant “Om” to meditate and relax.
An Ancient Yoga Technique – Very Effective to Relax
I teach my students the following technique, which is a combination of the Shavasana or Corpse pose and the ancient teaching of Yoga Nidra, which is not only a wonderful technique to unwind and relax,
but has many other beneficial effects on the body and psyche. It is so deceptively simple but powerful that you need to practice it to believe its power.
First time I learnt it from my teacher Banani Ray, a teacher of the Himalayan tradition, who is an adept in the Yoga Nidra practice, I moved to very deep meditation. She was actually guiding me through this meditative practice, and I felt so much relaxed and peaceful that it took me time to come back to normal conversation.
I felt like waves of peace was surrounding my body and mind, and I just didn’t feel like coming out of that experience.
This practice has many variations, and apart from simple stress-relief, the technique has many therapeutic uses like treating sleep-disorder, treating insomnia, treating anxiety and panic disorder, treating deep-seated psychological conditioning etc. This technique can also be a powerful Yoga and meditation tool for transformation and deep meditation, and should be learnt from an experienced teacher for that purpose.
A Simple But Powerful Technique
However, I’ll discuss here a simple form of this practice effective for relaxing and rewinding. To practice this exercise, lie on the floor or on your bed in Savasana or Corpse Pose. Turn the palms of your hands upward, and keep your legs slightly apart. This position will help to induce a feeling of relaxation. Keep your head, neck, trunk, and legs in a straight line. You may not want to use a pillow, because, the flow of blood should be equal to all parts of the body.
In course of our daily jobs and interactions, many parts of our bodies become tense without our conscious knowledge. Now, how are we to become enough aware of them so we can actually relax them? I’m just going to discuss that.
We need to tense different parts of our bodies. I am telling you how to do that. Breath will help you do that. First inhale, tense the whole body,consciously tighten the muscles, and then exhale and relax the entire body at once. Do it two to three times. Inhale, tense the muscles, exhale and relax the muscles.
After this lie very still and become aware of your breath. You may watch it in the nostrils, or simply be mentally aware of the rhythmic rise and fall of your abdomen. Smile as you feel the peace.
As your calmness deepens, feel your consciousness in the form of a diffused white light. Feel it is becoming centered increasingly at the point between your eyebrows. Think of your body as surrounded by space— space in all directions spreading out to infinity.
Now take your attention to your feet, and visualize as if the space outside is gradually seeping through the pores of the skin into your feet, until your feet become space. Visualize this space in both of your legs as gradually coming up into the calves, thighs, hips, and moving up to your abdomen and stomach, your hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, chest, the back of the neck, sides of the neck, the throat, jaw, tongue, lips, cheeks, eyes, and brain.
In feeling space in your brain, with a deep exhaling breath, release from your mind all the worries of the day, all the stress, all regrets about the past and all worries about the future. Rest in the infinite ocean of the eternal Present. Enjoy your being relaxing Here and Now.
I surrender to this moment of blissful relaxation all my anxiety, elation and depression, and all my thoughts. Thank you God. Thank you Existence for my health and well being.
You may continue relaxing as long as you like, and chant soft Om before you get up. After you sit up, softly hum Om.. Om.. Om three times and end your session of rest.
This practice may take ten to twenty minutes, but you will feel rested and rejuvenated like you have taken one hour nap. It will do you a whole lot of good.