Relaxation is an art, for there are various practices which one can develop and utilize to bring about relaxation of the mind and body, transforming life into an expression of wellbeing. Relaxation is also a science, for it is based on solid scientific fact.
Relaxation is essential in everyone's life. By relaxation we mean a release of tension in both the mind and body for a period of time to allow complete rest and revitalization.
Following is the technique for how to relax:Lie down on the back in Shavasana (dead man's pose), The body should be in the supine position.
Make sure that the eyes are closed and consciously release the eye muscles. The mouth should be closed.
The teeth should not be clenched but slightly separated.
Don't press the lips together, but let them relax. If necessary, yawn to remove facial tension.
Feel that your head is very heavy.
Now feel heaviness in the whole body. Imagine that your whole body is so heavy that it is sinking into the floor. Tell yourself that if you wanted to raise your body now you would find it impossible, because your muscles are completely limp.
Feel gravity acting on every part of your body and pulling it towards the ground. Now watch the space or blankness in front of the closed eyes.
Imagine that this space surrounds your whole body. Your body is in the middle of that space. Try to imagine that your body is slowly sinking in that space, slowly, slowly sinking like a leaf falling from a tree. Feel your body sinking, sinking, sinking into the depths of that infinite space.
Do this for two minutes or longer if you have time.
If thoughts arise, let them arise.
But continue to feel the body sinking. Now become aware of your breath. Don't change the rhythm of the breath; only become aware of the flow in and out of your nostrils. When you breathe in, know that you are breathing in.
When you breathe out, be fully aware that you are breathing out.
Try to feel that it is the first time you have ever breathed; you are experiencing breath for the first time in your life.
As you breathe in, feel the health-giving oxygen entering your body, nourishing all the cells and giving you perfect health. As you breathe out feel all the poisons leaving your body.
All the tensions, stresses, problems, etc. are flowing out of you via the exhaled breath.
Feel all anxieties leaving you with every breath Try to maintain awareness only of the breath, but if other thoughts arise, don't worry. Merely carry on with your practice. Continue in this way for as long as you have time available.
At the end of the practice stretch your hands, your arms, stretch your feet and legs, become aware of the surroundings and slowly open your eyes.
If you have done the above practice without sleeping and with alertness, but without tension, then you should feel wonderfully refreshed.