A Simple System of Relaxation
1. Lie down in the corpse pose and make yourself comfortable. Try a pillow under the head, and don’t forget a light blanket to keep drafts from drawing your attention outward.
2. Give yourself a few moments to settle, and allow your body to soften into the support of the ground. Watch the breath until it and your heart rate are steady.
3. Bring your awareness to each point listed below and allow the surrounding muscle tissues to relax.
Crown of the head
Eyebrows, eyelids, and eyes
(Focus on the breath flowing in and out of the nostrils, 2–4 times.)
Hollow of the throat
Sides and back of the neck
Upper arms, lower arms
(Inhale as if the breath is flowing down to the fingertips and exhale back up through the nostrils, 2–4 times)
Fingers, hands, arms
Chest and rib cage around the back to the spine
(Inhale as if the breath is flowing down to the heart center and exhale back up through the nostrils, 2–4 times)
Sides, lower back
Upper legs, lower legs
(Inhale as if the breath is flowing down to the toes and exhale back up through the nostrils, 2–4 times)
4. Reverse the sequence, bringing awareness up the body from the toes to the head without pausing for breath awareness at the toes, heart center, fingertips, or nose.
5. Take 10 breaths while keeping awareness spread throughout the body.
6. Make a gentle transition to your next activity.
adapted from Yoga International, January/February 2006
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