Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Preparation for Meditation, or Just for Life

Prepare for Meditation by Releasing Bodily Tension -

This podcast, while not part of the Meditation Getaways series of guided meditations, can be seen as a companion to that, or to any exercise in calming the mind.

Many people that I've worked with in my hypnosis practice have complained that they can't seem to meditate or do self-hypnosis effectively on certain days, because they're carrying so much tension in their bodies that it distracts them or prevents them from settling their minds. In this podcast, I teach you a technique called progressive neuromuscular relaxation that is designed to relieve that tightness in the body through a series of tension-relaxation movements performed on all the major muscle groups.

Since, it does involve tensing of the muscles, I advise you to consult your physician to make sure that this exercise is safe for you.

I will guide you from toe to head, as we tense each muscle group tightly and then relax it completely, being mindful of the sensation of relaxation. Each combination of tension and relaxation teaches you what relaxation should feel like in each muscle group, because complete relaxation can best be felt when it is contrasted with complete tension. By tensing a muscle as tightly as you can, you effectively get the tension out of it, so that afterwards, all you can feel is relaxation.

As you pay attention to what relaxation really feels like in each movement, you could even "meditate" on this feeling. People notice sensations such as tingling, buzzing, warmth, heaviness, etc. After the entire exercise is complete, your body should be loose, limp, and restful, and you should be able to transition to meditation or self-hypnosis easily, having been completely relieved of your distracting tension. That being said, this exercise can also stand alone as a daily routine to remove the tightness that builds up in your body throughout the day. As you continue to do this exercise daily, your body effectively learns how to be relaxed all the time, so you'll find yourself being much more at ease in everything that you do.