Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guided Relaxation

A few weeks ago I asked my Instagram followers if they struggle with sleep and what methods they use to combat it (shameless plug: @benditlikelacy). Many people I’ve talked with in my personal and professional life have irregular sleep patterns, insomnia, and a hard time slowing down or shutting off their racing thoughts. On the post, I vaguely described a relaxation technique I use in and outside of my yoga classes that relaxes my students. It is an effective way to turn your awareness inwards, whether you intend to fall asleep or find a calmer state of mind. I promised I would make it available for all and I am keeping my word.

“Decide to use this time for yourself. And nothing and no one else.”
Relaxing is difficult for most of us. Even when we think we’re relaxed, we often still unconsciously hold tension in parts of our bodies (toes, jaw, shoulders…). Relaxation requires intention and even practice. There are many paths to cultivating a peaceful body and mind; so long as no harm is done, they are valid and critical to your health! There is no disease that cannot be positively affected by stress reduction. In that case, relaxation is more than a luxury; determining your path of access is crucial!

The Guided Relaxation is a combination of a systematic muscle awareness process gleaned during my yoga teacher training and deep breathing exercises. It can be used not only for sleep, but to cultivate a calmer state of being, or as a part of your yoga and meditation practice. You could also just pop in your headphones and use it before a stressful situation, or just to show yourself some love. It’s all up to you. The process begins with asking you to choose yourself over your worries, to-do list, and past and future concerns. I invite you to honor your body and explore your inner world, simply because you are worthy of your time.

Here are some suggestions to help you get started with your relaxation process with intention:

·       Designate a time during your day to use the Relaxation 

·       Set the mood. Little to no light is useful for increased self-
awareness or sleep. Light music and scents (like lavender or 
peppermint) may also be helpful.

·       Find a comfortable supine (on your back) position so that 
your body has less work to do (although, regardless of being 
seated or standing this is effective!).

·       Prepare your body. Take a warm shower. Remove glasses, 
jewelry, or other accessories that may impede on your comfort.

“This peace, this relaxation, is yours. It always has been. It always will be…”

The recording ends with a reminder that your peace is your power. With time and practice, you will find it easier to return to state of calm, relaxation and balance. Use the link below and comment your experience! 
Happy relaxing, Kala.

Written by Kala Lacy

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