Relaxation Meditation

Set some ambiance, with gentle music, preferably without words, unless it is a guided meditation on relaxation techniques.  Get in a comfortable position; most people prefer to lie down for this type of meditation.  If you fall asleep, realize it is necessary and you need it.  This meditation is great for people who have problems falling asleep, and assist you to get centred and relaxed.  You may also want to record yourself speaking this meditation, so that you can listen to it when you want or need to relax.  Remember to add music. Now beginning with your toes on your right foot, bring your attention to them, by imagining breathing into your toes, as you breathe in you bring energy into this area and focus and as you breathe out, you are releasing any tension that may have been built up in your toes on your right foot.  Move up your right leg, to your ankle, again bring your attention to your right ankle, imagine breathing into your right ankle, and release any tension that you may have stored in your ankle as you breathe out.  Move up to your calf, knee and thigh of your right leg, bringing your attention to these areas by breathing into them separately and imagine releasing any tensions as your breathe out.  Move to your left leg, beginning with your toes, moving to ankle, calve, knee and thigh, breathing in awareness, attention and energy to these areas, and releasing any tension or stress as you breathe out.  Focus your attention on each area separately.  Now do the same with your arms beginning with your right arm, fingers and thumb, wrist, lower arm, elbow, and upper arm of your right arm, then do the same to your left arm again focusing your attention on each area separately, as you breathe in you bring energy, attention and awareness into your arms and as you breathe out you release any stress or tension.

Then we move to the torso of your body. Beginning with your pelvis, lower back and stomach region.  Especially focus on your lower back if you have any lower back pain.  Bringing your focus into this area brings blood into this area and circulation to remove blocks and heal problems.  As you breathe out really focus on relaxing your lower back.  Maintain your lower back on the ground; therefore as you breathe your pelvis is up, so the lower back is pushed to the ground, this alleviates any lower backpressure and stress.  Focus on each area for a longer period, if these are areas that are painful for you or where you hold stress, and imagine all the pain, stress and tension releasing completely, with each breath out, in fact imagine pushing out the pain with your breath.

Move towards your middle back and solar plexus visualizing the same things, breathing in energy, awareness and attention and breathing out stress or tension.  This area is important because it is where your diaphragm is and where relaxed breath is to take place.  If you have never practiced diaphragm breathing, this would be the time to learn.  Put your hand on your belly, above your bellybutton and when you breathe in your stomach should raise, and your chests should remain unmoving.  In the beginning of practicing this breathing, you may find that it is the area below your bellybutton that moves up when you breathe in, and this is okay.  As long as you chest is not rising, to test this, put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.  As you develop your skills at breathing this way, you will find that it is actually the section above your bellybutton that is where you breathe. 

Move towards your upper back, and chest area.  As you breathe in bring in energy, awareness and attention into this area.  Be aware of this area, especially for chest and upper back problem areas.  As you breathe out, focus on releasing all stress, tension and pain from these areas.  Your chest is the area that lets you know if you are stressed.  When you are stressed you breathe exclusively from this area.  As children we breathed exclusively from the diaphragm, but as our lives became stressed we learned to breathe from our chest.  This is more shallow breathing and creates stress to your cardiovascular system, your lungs and heart.  When we are totally stressed, or angry, we breathe from our clavicle area, which is too high, and we breathe quickly and too shallowly.  These are the times when we need to count to 10 and do 10 slow breaths with our diaphragm.  Also, be aware of the tension we hold in our upper backs and imagine releasing it as well with each breath.

Move towards your shoulders and neck areas.  Breathe in energy, awareness and attention to these areas.  Really focus on relaxing these areas completely.  Imaging them just letting go of all stress, tension and pain.  But almost, literally letting them fall and relax as you think about them and breathe out.  You should do this often if these are areas that cause you pain.

Go into the jaw and this is an area we hold anger, so again imagine letting it totally relax, feel your jaw go slack.

Then focus your attention into your eyes, eyebrows and forehead.  Breathe in energy, awareness and attention; breathe out stress and tension.

Now you can go on to do any meditation, guided, visualization and know that your body is ready and relaxed.  Or you can chose to fall asleep, knowing that you will receive a rejuvenating sleep and wake up with lots of energy and ready for a new day, with a new expectation in your life.