Deep Relaxation: The Yoga Way
 
A Tool For Stress Management and Healing

Copyright Nischala Joy Devi

Edited for MSF by Jennifer Dany Aubé

Image taken from the book ‘Yoga: Step-By-Step’ by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri

Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India (used with permission)

Introduction

Although this text was originally put together for the field volunteers working at MSF, it can be used by everyone, as we all lead busy lives.   A lot of effort needs to be devoted to dealing with the ongoing and cumulative effects of stress in everyday life.  The following document will help you understand the theory of deep relaxation from the Yoga perspective. 

With our busy lives, relaxation for most of us is not a priority.  Our contemporary types of relaxation; watching TV, reading, playing sports, listening to music, taking a nap, taking a bath, walking, etc. have beneficial effects but do not produce the rejuvenation effects of a real deep relaxation.

It is difficult to imagine the body at 100% tension, except maybe if it was in a vicious rage.  Our normal awake tension is about 70% but during sleep, body tension should decrease to about 38% where deep relaxation and anabolic cellular repair begins.  Many people sleep at about 60% tension, accounting for the fact that they wake up more tired than when they went to bed.  Between 26% and 38% body tension, deep relaxation is recorded.  There is no danger that the body’s tension could fall below 26% while doing any form of relaxation practice, as this amount of tension is required to maintain basic body function, such as the elasticity of blood vessel walls.

Field volunteers work in difficult, high stress environments.  If left unchecked, the accumulation of stress becomes heavy like a suit of armor and wears like a second skin.  Through the practice of relaxation, stress levels decrease, digestion improves, productivity increases, sleep becomes deeper, and an all pervasive sense of health and peace take over.  We become aware of how quiet and still the body and mind can be.  We can then transpose that awareness into our daily life.  

Learning to relax is similar to any other practice that we want to do well it takes time, interest and a lot of practice.  


Deep Relaxation and the Nervous System

The human body should be under the control of the parasympathetic nervous system, but because of living under high levels of stress, strain and tension, many of us have been pushed over into the sympathetic section of the nervous system.  The sympathetic system is intended to operate in emergencies only, and not on a day to day basis.  Burnout is the result of a continually over stimulated sympathetic nervous system.

Deep relaxation has a profound positive effect on the nervous system.  Simply stated, the sympathetic system is responsible for the fight of flight response and the parasympathetic system allows us to let go and relax.  If we are threatened or imagine that we are threatened, even by something like writing a test or giving a speech, the sympathetic system gives us sympathy and supplies us with much needed energy in the form of adrenaline.  This energy goes to our hearts and extremities.  Our pupils dilate so we can see better and we have the ability to dash quicker than an olympic athlete.  We have heard cases of mothers doing extraordinary feats to save a child.  Their bodies and nervous systems sympathized with their need to act quickly and heroically.  After a stressful activity, the parasympathetic system allows us to let go and relax.  Most of us these days disregard the parasympathetic system’s need to take over.  We just keep going from one stressful situation to another.  Can you imagine what would happen if we used our cars like we use our bodies?  Try using the accelerator and the horn but not the brake peddle, and see what happens.

The peripheral nervous system has these two parts for a reason.  In the human heart, the sympathetic system allows the heart to squeeze and beat.  The parasympathetic system allows the heart to rest.  Unlike the stomach that rests at night when its job is done; the only time the heart rests is between beats.  This is one reason to keep the parasympathetic nervous system strong and healthy.  

To understand the relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, let’s look at the measurement of blood pressure.  The top number, or the systolic, is controlled by the sympathetic system; and the bottom number, or the diastolic, is controlled by the parasympathetic system.  Let’s use 120/80 as an example of a normal pressure.  Your doctor might be concerned, if your blood pressure was 180/90, but more concerned if it was 160/100.  In the latter, the heart is not resting.  Many people are told that they’ll be on blood pressure medication for the rest of their lives.  With a regular practice of deep relaxation, blood pressure can be lowered and brought down to stay.

The art of deep complete relaxation is one of the safest and most effective ways to manage stress, relieve pain, regain and maintain health and attain peace of mind.  This might seem like a strong claim for something that is so pleasant to do.  The proof is in the doing.


Introduction to the Five Bodies

Every human is composed of five sheaths or layers; physical, energy, mind, intuition and Joy.  These layers or bodies cover the core or essence of who we are; Divine Light, Love, Goodness, Peace, Joy, Bliss.  The first layer, the physical body, is the one that we are most familiar with.  The second body is made up of vital energy and encases the lower physical body and allows movement.  The third body is more of an inner nature which we call the mind and encases the physical and energy bodies.  The fourth body is made up of the Higher Mind, also called intuition, and encases the three previous lower bodies.  Greater than them all is the body of Joy, which permeates all the bodies with peace, light and bliss.  

The following section will go through each of the 5 bodies and explain the relaxation process.  It is helpful to know what to expect in the five different stages of relaxation.  It is unlikely that you will experience all the different stages at the beginning of your practice.  Allow one to lead you into the other and deeper into relaxation.  It is necessary to relax all the layers for complete relaxation and healing to take place.


The Three Lower Bodies

The Physical Body

The physical body is the body made up of food.  The soybeans you ate yesterday are the teeth and hair of tomorrow.  This body is made up of bones, muscles, organs, blood, etc. and is wrapped up nicely in a bag of skin, decorated with hair and nails.  The physical body is affected by posture, temperature changes, repetitive movements, and the food and beverages we consume.

We typically do not notice our physical bodies unless they hurt or until we sit or lie still.  In stillness, our physical bodies whisper or scream messages of how they feel.  Much of the time, we tend to ignore these messages.  As stress accumulates, the bodily feeling it produces are accepted as normal and getting older becomes synonymous with aching and stiffness.

In deep relaxation, we adjust the body, helping it to find a comfortable position.  We notice if there is more pressure on one side or the other, if one side of the body is tighter or looser than the other.  Simple, everyday actions cause physical stress.  Many of us who carry a purse, briefcase, packages, speak on the phone while writing etc. will feel more tension on one side than the other.    

In order to relax a tensed muscle, we stretch it then consciously make the same tensed muscle even tighter.  We exaggerate the movement in the direction of the tension in order to relax it.  We release tension by using tension consciously.  First we notice where our tension is stored, then by squeezing those places we coax them to relax.  As the body relaxes, you will experience a progressive feeling of heaviness.  


The Energy Body

Do you make efficient use of your energy?  Do you need artificial stimulants to get you through the day?  Coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar?  Do you have fuel to spare or do you feel exhausted by the end of the day?  Energy surrounds and moves through the physical body.  The physical body does not move on its own.  It is the energy that moves it.  It’s similar to our cars.  Even the most expensive, high-powered automobile will not be able to go anywhere without fuel.

How does the body get the fuel or vital energy it needs?  There are many sources; food, water, sun and air.  However the richest and most abundant source is the air that we breathe.  The higher the quality of the source, the more vital energy it contains.  For example there is more vital energy in a piece of fruit freshly picked from a tree, than there is in prepackaged food that has been frozen for weeks.

The energy body is subtle.  The vehicle which allows energy to move is the breath.  When we breathe deeply, along with air, we take in vital energy which is distributed between and within the cells, organs, and bones, creating an ‘invisible’ network in which energy flows.  With gentle guidance from the mind, we use the intentional breath to clear out blockages within the energy body.  It is similar to lubricating a car – when we squeeze in new grease; the old grease comes out automatically.  When we send the fresh vital energy into and between the cells, the tension that is there gets squeezed out.  The effect is that energy flows smoothly within the energy body and you feel more relaxed.  Unlike the physical body whose functions are confined within its physical limitations, the energy body extends outside of the physical body.  Do not be alarmed if, as you relax, you feel a jolt like feeling run through and out of the body.  This is simply blocked energy being released.  This happens often at the extremities, but can happen anywhere in the body.  As in the previous stage, you will continue to experience a progressive feeling of heaviness.  The body may feel like a thousand pounds.  You know that you are able to move it anytime you wish but you may not want to.  

You may want to practice only these two parts for a time until you are able to fully experience the feeling of heaviness.  Without letting go of the physical holding of the body, it will be difficult to let go of the more subtle aspects found in the following stages.  


The Mind Body

We all know where our brain is, but where is our mind?  If we were to dissect our brain could we see our thoughts, emotions and memories?  Two different words, brain and mind, have developed in our language because they are not the same and do not reside in the same place.  The brain is part of the physical body and the mind is part of the more subtle mind body.  

The ‘phantom limb syndrome’ has been medically documented and acknowledged.  We have all heard of stories of patients who still feel pain in the part of the body that has been surgically removed.  If the physical body part is not there then where is the pain?  Pain is a function of the mind and therefore resides in the mind body.

The mind and the thoughts and feelings that reside within it can have a powerful hold on us.  For example, the body is tired and wants to sleep but the mind and thoughts keep it awake.  ‘Don’t sleep.  Work needs to be done.  Have a cup of coffee or tea instead and keep working.’  Or in another situation, you are in your bed physically exhausted, trying to sleep, but are unable to because your thoughts and feelings keep racing through you uncontrollably.

You may have experienced a time when you were hurt physically.  Perhaps, your finger was accidentally cut as you were slicing an apple.  Long after the physical body healed the wound, you probably still protected that finger.  There may still be a physical scar to remind you of the injury, but an emotional scar will be there also.

Each time we are hurt or experience some form of trauma, whether physically or emotionally, scars form and remain within the mind body.  Here we can clearly see how the lower bodies are linked one within the other.  For example lets say that you have a sore arm.  As a child, when you playfought with your older brother, he used to twist your arm while calling you names.  The memory of this is embedded in the mind body surrounding your arm.  Since this was not a pleasant memory, as you got older, you tried to forget about it.  But trying to forget simply means that you are holding onto the memory unconsciously.  Since you are no longer conscious of the pain in your arm, the result is that energy does not flow properly in that area making it weaker and more susceptible to injury.  Recently while playing tennis you sustained a physical injury and hurt your arm.  At first glance it might appear like you were hurt because of a wrong technique or bad luck, when in fact the real reason is because of the childhood memory that you have been holding onto.  

To access the mind body, to calm the mind of the cacophony of thoughts and feelings, and to help heal emotional trauma, we call once again on the breath.  This time, it is the gentle, natural breath.  The mind directs the gentle breath to different parts of the mind body where our thoughts, memories, feelings and pains are stored.  When relaxation penetrates the mind body, the scars that lie within are soothed and encouraged to heal.  In this stage of the relaxation you may experience different thoughts and feelings emerging.  Try not to focus on where they come from, just know that they are being released, and concentrate on consciously letting them go.

Since the burdens of the physical body are not found within the mind body, the heaviness of the body which was felt in the previous two stages is replaced with a feeling of lightness.  At this stage of the relaxation process, it is interesting to note which part of the body feels lighter first and which part may be more reluctant to move into this stage.  Although not necessary, it can be beneficial to investigate the reasons why there is heaviness, pain, or even disease in a particular area.  Is more tension held there because of posture, work-related movements, or perhaps an emotional reason?  As the neck is the highway between the head and heart, sometimes there may be a roadblock in the neck.  If there is a conflict between our thoughts and our feelings, this can cause physical and/or emotional pain.  Observe any obstacles as the breath moves through the mind body and note them without judging.


The Two Higher Bodies

The Body of Higher Wisdom

When the body and mind are relaxed, we begin to float into a sensation of weightlessness.  The breath moves in and out of a very still body.  As we become observers of the breath, we notice it move gently and smoothly into the body through the nose, down the trachea and into the lungs, and after the briefest of pauses, it makes its return trip back up from the lungs to the throat and out the nose.  As we watch the breath, we are aware of a rare form of energy- one that is not concerned with appearances or things to do.  It is an energy of being.  There is no goal to the breath; it just flows in and out.  We observe it as a feeling of lightness and calmness taking over the mind.  The mind reflects clearly what we see without coloring it with our likes and dislikes, our prejudices, even our hopes and dreams.  Through this observation, we open ourselves to our higher knowledge.  This is the experience of the body of knowing, also referred to as the body of higher wisdom or intuition.  The answers to all questions lie within ourself.


The Final Destination is the Body of Joy

We now go deeper within to that place that we all know exists.  It is that place of stillness, peace and bliss.

Perhaps we have experienced it gazing at a sunset or in the face of a newborn baby; in a flash of a moment, a merging with beauty. It is the place of ultimate relaxation, complete unto itself.  Poets and sages have written about that place or state for thousands of years.  Most of us do not allow ourselves the time it takes to experience it.  

When this stage is reached, we experience comfort and contentment, a feeling of being centered and of inner stillness.  Here we find an endless wellspring of healing energy.

As the breath becomes very still, a natural drawing inward occurs, a deep sense of stillness without the sensation of body, breath or thoughts.  It is in that place of inner stillness that our deepest healing takes place.  We are able to rest and be in the peace of our own true nature.


Ending the Relaxation Sessions

At the end of a deep relaxation session, bringing the consciousness back to the body and mind is as important as the relaxation itself.  It is necessary to be gentle and to consciously and slowly integrate all the relaxed parts back together.


Deep Relaxation is Not Sleep

Deep relaxation is a conscious process.  There is an awareness of consciousness at every level.  Only through wakefulness can you realize the full effect of deep relaxation and the healing benefits that results.  Deep relaxation takes place in the window between the wakefulness of activity and the unconscious of sleep.

If you hear someone snoring, it could be you!  Snoring is a sure sign that you have fallen asleep.  If this happens in the beginning of your practice, it is because you are probably very tired.  See if you can get more sleep – but, not at the time you do the conscious relaxation practice.  

If you continue to sleep during relaxation you might want to check and see if you are taking too much medication – that includes coffee and other stimulants that might not let you get a deep sleep at night.


Tips for Staying Awake During Deep Relaxation

⇒	Do deep relaxation on the floor or in a chair, rather than in your bed as the sleep vibration is firmly embedded in the mattress.

⇒	Do relaxation at a time when you are fully aware; for instance, in the morning rather than at night.

⇒	Keep one of your arms bent at the elbow so that the forearm and hand are raised.  When you start to fall asleep, the arm will relax and the movement will usually wake you.  

⇒	Keep your eyes half or fully open.  Allow them to be still, not to move around.  When you begin to fall asleep, the eyes will start to close and you can catch yourself and wake up.  Most people cannot sleep with their eyes open.

⇒	Finally, sit up in a chair.

⇒	If all of this fails, you must really need the sleep.  Enjoy!




Deep Relaxation:  The Full Practice

Setting the Stage

Before you begin the practice of relaxation, be sure you will not be disturbed.  Turn off the ringer on the phone.  Close the door to the room and the outside world for this very sacred time.   Let your family and pets know that this is your time to relax.

In order to get the maximum benefit from a deep relaxation session, you must be as being as comfortable as possible.    

Lie down and make yourself comfortable on a well padded floor or a comfortable lounge chair.  Make sure there is sufficient padding under you so that you don’t feel any pressure points or sore spots.  It is better not to do a deep relaxation session while lying in your bed, as the tendency to sleep will be there and deep relaxation is a conscious and mindful activity.  

Optionally you can:

Place an eye pillow over the eyes to encourage them to relax.  An eye pillow is usually made of silk and filled with flax seeds.  Since an eye pillow adds a certain amount of weight on top of the eyelids, it helps the eyes to be still and slows down the rapid eye movements (REM) which in turn slows down the activity of the mind and allows you to go deeper into relaxation.  If you do not have an eye pillow, place a soft cloth over the eyes.  

If you want, place a pillow under your knees, high enough so that the lower back and abdomen are flattened and you can let go and relax.  You can place a pillow or rolled towel under your head and neck so that they are totally supported.

It is also nice to cover yourself with a blanket.  It keeps you warm as the body temperature and blood pressure decrease with deep relaxation.  Also, it is a very nurturing and comforting feeling that allows you to feel safe and go deeper into relaxation.


The Relaxation Posture

Now that you are lying comfortably on the floor or on a lounge chair, with pillows and blankets in place, make sure that the feet are about shoulder width apart and the arms about 18 inches away from the body.  Ideally the palms should be facing up, but only if it comfortable to do so.  You will remain in the relaxation posture for the duration of the session, which is about 20-30 minutes.  This posture is also referred to as the Corpse Pose. 

Finally, tell yourself that it is time to relax and that all that needs to be done has been done.  All there is to do now is let go and relax.


Relaxation of the Physical Body

Please allow the eyes to close.  Adjust the body so that it is comfortable and relaxed. You can totally let go.

Notice if there is more pressure on one side or another, if one side of the body is tighter or looser than the other.

Bring the awareness to the right leg.  Stretch out the right leg from the hips to the toes.  Squeeze the right leg and be aware of all the muscles from the toes up to the hip.  Inhale; raise the leg a few inches.  Exhale; relax the leg.  Roll it gently from side to side and allow it to relax.

Bring the awareness to the left leg.  Stretch out the left leg from the hips to the toes.  Squeeze the left leg and be aware of all the muscles from the toes to the hip.  Inhale; raise the leg a few inches, Exhale; relax the leg.  Roll it gently from side to side and allow it to relax. 

Bring the awareness to the right arm.  Stretch out the right arm and spread the fingers.  Make the hand into a fist.  Squeeze the right hand and arm and be aware of all the muscles from the fingers to the shoulder.  Inhale; raise the arm.  Exhale; relax the arm.  Roll it gently from side to side and allow it to relax.

Bring the awareness to the left arm.  Stretch out the left arm and spread the fingers.  Make the hand into a fist.  Squeeze the left hand and arm and be aware of all the muscles from the fingers to the shoulder.  Inhale; raise the arm.  Exhale; relax the arm.  Roll it gently from side to side and allow it to relax.

Bring the awareness to the buttocks.  Inhale; gently squeeze the buttocks and feel all the muscles on both sides equally.  Exhale; relax.  Allow the buttocks to be relaxed and soft as you feel the floor under them. 

Bring the awareness to the abdomen.  Inhale; expand the abdominal muscles.  Exhale; relax and allow the abdomen to feel soft.

Bring the awareness to the chest and lungs.  Inhale as the chest and lungs expand.  Exhale; allow the chest, lungs and heart to relax.  Observe how the breath is smooth and gentle.

Gently squeeze the shoulders up to the ears, then together in front of you.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Relax.

Roll the shoulders back gently against the pillow or floor and away from the ears.  Relax.

Observe the neck.  Slowly and gently roll the head to the left and then to the right and back to center.  Bring the chin down slightly toward the chest.  Allow the head to find its natural center.  Relax.

Bring the awareness to the face.  Inhale; close the jaw.  Exhale; allow it to open.  Relax.

Observe the lips and cheeks.  Inhale; squeeze them together.  Exhale; relax.
Bring the awareness to the eyes.  Inhale; squeeze them together.  Exhale; relax.  Observe them becoming soft. 

Bring the awareness to the space between the eyebrows and the forehead.  Inhale; raise the eyebrows.  Exhale; relax.  Feel an imaginary hand soothe away any tension on forehead and all the worry lines.  Allow your face to become as smooth as the face of a baby.


Relaxation of the Energy Body

Observe the physical body in its relaxed state.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath down the legs to the feet.  Allow the feet to relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the ankles.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the calves and shins.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the knees.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the thighs and hips.  Allow it to replace any tension or discomfort.

Allow the breath to return to normal.

Observe the feet and legs as they become heavy with relaxation.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath down the arms to the fingers.  Allow all the muscles, nerves, bones to relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the hands.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the wrists.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation send the breath to the forearms.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the elbows.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the upper arms and shoulders, allowing it to replace any tension or discomfort.  Allow the breath to return to normal.

Observe the hands and arms as they become heavy with relaxation.

Notice how the limbs feel very heavy and still, how they weigh down the rest of the body like anchors.  When the limbs are still and heavy, it encourages the rest of the body to be still.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the buttocks.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the pelvis and pelvic organs.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the abdomen and allow all of the abdominal organs to relax, releasing blocked energy from all the pelvic and abdominal organs.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the chest, lungs and heart.

Inhale deeply and on the exhalation send the breath to the throat.  Allow the breath to return to normal.

Observe the front of the body as it becomes soft with relaxation.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the lower back and spine, each vertebrae, muscle and nerve.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the mid back and spine.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the upper back and spine, between the shoulder blades and behind the heart.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the shoulders, neck, to the base of the head.  Allow the breath to return to normal.

Observe the back as it comes closer to the floor in relaxation.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the entire brain.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the jaw, allowing it to replace any tension or discomfort.  Relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the lips and tongue.  Relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the cheeks and nose.  Relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the eyes, behind the eyes, and eyelids.  Allow the eyes to soften and relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the forehead and temples.  Relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the sides of the head, temples, and the ears.  Relax.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the scalp.  Allow the breath to return to normal and allow the entire face to soften and become smooth like the face of a baby.

Inhale deeply and, on the exhalation, send the breath to the mind, allowing all the movement of the thoughts in the mind to relax.

Observe the body.  Notice if there is any part of the body that does not feel completely relaxed.  Go back to that part; inhale, and as you exhale encourage it to relax. 

Notice how the body has become very heavy with relaxation.  Observe the heaviness of the legs, arms, back, and head – knowing you are able to move, if necessary; as the same time not wanting to.  Enjoy the feeling of letting go.


Relaxation of the Mind Body

Observe the breath once again.  Notice how still it becomes as the body relaxes.  Observe the breath without controlling it as it comes and goes without any strain.  It is so gentle you can hardly feel the chest moving.  Guide this gentle breath to remove any subtle tension, thoughts, feelings or memories in the feet; gently brush the ankles, lower legs, knees, thighs, hips.  Relax.

Guide this gentle breath to remove any subtle tension, thoughts, feelings or memories in the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms.  Letting go of what you are holding with the hands and arms, send the gentle breath to the shoulders.  Let go of your burdens.  Relax.

Send the gentle breath to the base of the spine and allow the breath to slowly come up through the middle spine to the upper spine, releasing deep seated heartache from behind the heart.  Relax the shoulders and allow the neck to be open as a connection between the heart and head.  Relax.

Gently relax the jaw, cheeks and nose.  The eyes soften and draw into the inner sight.  Relax the eyelids, forehead, and the ears as they draw inward to the inner sounds.  Relax the entire scalp and bathe the brain with relaxation.

Observe the last bit of tension leaving the body through the top of the head.  Relax.

Allow the subtle breath to touch the mind and feel all the subtle thoughts.  Relax.

Slowly bring the awareness to the gentle breath as it enters and leaves the body.

As it enters, feel it bringing oxygen and healing energy.

As it leaves, feel yourself letting go of thoughts, feelings, and tensions.

Notice a lightness and a feeling of detachment from the body, mind and all worldly cares.

(One full minute of quiet time.)


Relaxation of the Higher Bodies

Begin to go further within to look for that place of stillness, peace, and joy.  It is the place of ultimate relaxation.  A wellspring of healing energy.  Find that place and rest there.  

(Five full minutes of quiet time.)


The Return Trip

Slowly and gently bring the awareness back to the breath.  Begin to increase the inhalation and feel energy entering with the breath and awakening the body.

Observe the body recharging with fresh, vital energy.

As we slowly relaxed the body gradually, we will now awaken the body. 

As you inhale, feel the energy come through the top of the head.

Inhale; guide the energy down the spine.  Inhale; revitalize the internal organs.  Inhale; surround the heart with healing energy.  Inhale; fill the lungs and feel the throat open.  Inhale; feel the energy move down the arms to the fingers.  Inhale; let the energy move down the legs to the toes.  Observe the body as it tingles with vital, healing energy.

Keeping the eyes closed, slowly move the toes, fingers, legs, and arms.  Slowly and gently roll the head from side to side.  Stretch out the body.  Observe how deeply relaxed the body is in its awakened state.

Observe how deeply relaxed the mind has become.

Slowly allow the eyes to open just slightly and see how the world looks to you as the first ray of light enters your eyes.

Allow that feeling of peace and stillness that is your essential nature, to spread through your life and share it with all you meet.


Om Shantih !!