Simple Meditation Exercise
Simple Meditation Exercise
The following exercise describes muscular relaxation which teaches you to recognize and reduce the tension we experience when we are anxious.
At first, it may be helpful to read the instructions as you go through the task until you gradually learn them over time.
Start by selecting a warm, comfortable place where you won't be disturbed. To begin with, choose a time of day when you feel most relaxed.
Click start to begin the exercise. Instructions will change automatically, giving you time for each step.
Bring your attention to your breath.
Concentrate on your breathing, breathe slowly and calmly.
Say the words "calm" or "relax" to yourself as you breathe out.
The relaxation exercise takes you through different muscle groups, teaching you firstly to tense and then relax.
You should breathe in when tensing and breathe out when you relax.
Starting with your hands, breathing in, clench one fist (but not too tightly). Think about the tension this produces in the muscles of your hand and forearm. Study the tension and then, breathing out, relax your hand.
Notice the difference between the tension and the relaxation. You might feel a slight tingling. This is the relaxation beginning to develop.
Do the same with the other hand. Breathe in, clench your first. Think about the tension this produces in the muscles of your hand and forearm. Study the tension and then, breathe out, relax your hand. Notice the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
Each time you relax a group of muscles think about how they feel when they're relaxed. Don't try to relax, just let go of the tension. Allow your muscles to relax as much as you can. Think about the difference in the way they feel when they're relaxed and when they're tense.
Now we will do the same for the other muscles of your body. Each time tense them for a few seconds and then relax. Study the way they feel and then let go of the tension in them.
Arms - Breathe in, bend your elbows and tense your arms. Feel the tension especially in your upper arms. Breathe out, relax.
Neck - Breathe in, press your head back and roll it from side to side slowly. Feel how the tension moves. Breathe out, bring your head forward into a comfortable position.
Face - there are several muscles here, but it is enough to think about your forehead and jaw. Breathing in, lower your eyebrows into a frown. Think about the tension this produces. Breathing out, relax your forehead. Just let go of the tension. Notice the difference.
Breathing in, raise your eyebrows. Study the way it feels and then let go of the tension in them. Breathing out, relax your forehead.
Jaw - Breathing in, clench your jaw. Study the tension and then breathe out, relaxing
Chest - Take deep breaths, hold them. Notice the tension. Breathing out, relax. Let your breathing return to normal.
Stomach - Breathing in, tense your stomach muscles as tight as you can. Breathing out, letting go of the tension, relax.
Buttocks - Breathing in, squeeze your buttocks together. Notice the tension. Breathing out, relax. Notice the difference.
Legs - Breathing in, straighten your legs and bend your feet towards your face. Study the tension. Breathing out, let go of the tension, relax.
Finish by wiggling your toes.
As you become more practiced, you can gradually learn these instructions to do on your own. Once you learn them, you could do this exercise lieing down and/or with your eyes closed.
Learn more by visiting our Educational Resources Page for Meditation