Relaxation meditation exercise

In this relaxation meditation exercise you will use your imagination to gently but noticeably relax your body and mind. It is a very simple, but very effective meditation and can be used on its own, or as an introduction to further meditation, using different types and techniques. For example, the relaxation meditation exercise could be combined with a mindfulness meditation or with a laughing meditation. It is always good to be relaxed while meditating, so this exercise helps you unwind and enter into that mental space and peace you need to be able to focus you mind and then proceed to go deeper into whatever meditation you choose.

Step 1

Always consult a qualified physician if you have a physical or mental complaint; meditation will usually not interefere with medical treatment, it may even enhance it; but please use meditation wisely and not as a substitute for getting the best possible advise from qualified health professionals. There is no shame in using both mainstream and alternative approaches to health in maintaining or improving your own body, mind and spirit!

Step 2

Provided your conscious attention is not required (i.e. you're not in the middle of driving, cycling, or operating machinery and the like), make yourself comfortable, sitting, lying, or standing.

Step 3

Take a deep breath in, filling you lungs with air (in case breathing itself it painful, please do this gently; go and see a doctor, you might have chest infection!). Exhale all the way. Then repeat: in, out, in out.

Step 4

Become aware of the location in your body of the physical tension. It can help to have a general knowledge of human anatomy, though this is by no means essential. Try and feel the tension from within, without moving or pressing or touching the location in your body. You may find it easier to do this with your eyes closed.

Step 5

Keep a genle focus of your attention on this area of you body. Try to feel into the tension in a gentle way. It is as if you simply allow your consciousness to 'hold' the tension and observe it.

Step 6

Keep breathing gently. Keep 'feeling' into the tension with your awareness.

Step 7

After a few minutes, stop focusing on the body and take three deep breaths again.

Step 8

Become aware of where you are lying and the sounds around you. Open you eyes if you had them closed.

Step 9

Gently return to your normal waking state. Drink a glass of water.

Step 10

You may find it helpful to jot down a few lines in a notebook to say briefly how it went and how you feel now.

After the meditation
Remember that after a meditation, it is a good idea to spend a few minutes reflecting on the experience. You could write down what it was like for you in your own personal journal. Give yourself time to resume your normal activities, after drinking a glass of water.

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