Total body relaxation is an exercise that helps you relax your body, mind, and Spirit. It is designed to bring you into a state of deep surrender and stillness, allowing you to experience a heightened sense of peace and tranquility. Also referred to as Progressive Muscle Relaxation, this practice helps you to de-stress, release tension from the body, and calm anxious feelings.
The practice of full-body relaxation is a powerful tool for managing stress, improving mental clarity, and unleashing the body's natural healing energy. This technique can also help to get stagnant energy and stuck emotions flowing again. I like to practice total body relaxation right before bedtime or after a particularly stressful day. It can be especially helpful for people who struggle to clear their mind before bed or who find it difficult to fall asleep.
To practice this technique, you will simply isolate one particular area of the body at a time by gently contracting or squeezing the muscles for about five seconds before relaxing them completely for five seconds. I like to repeat this isolated clench and release for a total of three times before moving on to the next body part.
For example, you may choose to start with your feet and then work your way upward. To start, you would squeeze and clench your feet and toes for the count of five, release for the count of five, and then repeat two more times. Next, you'd move up to your shins and calves, and repeat the process until every part of your body goes through this tense-and-release cycle.
This practice uses a series of tensing and releasing to bring more flow to the energy channels. The challenge during this practice is to only focus on one muscle group at a time, while allowing the rest of your body to be still and the breath to be as relaxed as possible.
Each squeeze should feel slightly uncomfortable, like pressure is being applied to the particular body part you're focusing on. You may even feel yourself shaking gently. At the same time, you don't want to be so forceful that it causes you pain. So, you'll want to find a good balance where the pressure isn't too extreme that it hurts you, but not so light that it doesn't provide the intended results of relaxation.
With regular practice, total body relaxation practices can reduce tension, relieve the burden of stress and anxiety on the body, and calm your nervous system. It's a great exercise to improve overall wellbeing.
I have recorded a Total Body Relaxation guided meditation practice for you to follow along with. You can either listen to it on my YouTube channel or download the audio version for free on my meditation page.
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