1. For quick relaxation of the whole body:
- Sit or lie down before beginning this exercise, so you will be able to relax your body completely.
- Gently tense the entire body.
- Then relax and withdraw your mind away from the body.
- Try to avoid any motion, as this will bring your mind back into your body.
- Imagine that your body is jelly-like, without any bones or muscles.
2. Savasana (Corpse Pose) Visualization:
- Lie on the floor and turn the palms of your hands upward.
- Inhale and tense the whole body, then throw the breath out and relax (repeat two to three times).
- Lie very still and listen or feel your breath. As your calmness deepens, feel your consciousness becoming centered increasingly at the point between the eyebrows. Think of your body as surrounded by space — space in all directions spreading out to infinity.
- Visualize this space gradually seeping through the pores of the skin into your feet, until your feet become space. Visualize this space as gradually coming up into the rest of your body and then your brain. In feeling space in your brain, release from your mind all regrets about the past, all worries about the future. Rest in the infinite ocean of the eternal Present. The objects of endless human concern no longer exist. There is nothing in all eternity but the Right Here, the Right Now.
- You can repeat mentally: “Bones, muscles, movement I surrender now; anxiety, elation and depression, churning thoughts: All these I give into the hands of peace.”
- For a more detailed version of this exercise, see An Exercise in Complete Relaxation
- Doing yoga postures, or going for a walk or jog, is a great way to relax and rejuvenate your body. Exercise is particularly helpful in the morning or middle of the day, because it will allow you to relax and relieve any stresses without becoming drowsy.
4. Take a hot bath:
- Soaking in a warm bath at the end of the day or before a stressful event such as giving a speech is an easy way of releasing physical and mental tension
- Note: Make sure you do not become overheated, and drink plently of water afterwords because hot water is dehydrating
5. Take a sun and air bath:
- Go out in the sun. If it’s cold you can bounce up and down to keep warm.
- Slowly inhale counting to eight, hold for eight, then exhale for eight. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
- As you breathe, feel the suns rays penetrating your skin and expelling all worries.
- Stay out for 10 minutes or so, depending on the sun’s intensity.
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These techniques are based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.