Relaxation techniques
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Relaxation techniques

Even 10 minutes of relaxation a day will make a very big difference to your stress levels, your ability to cope and your overall health. The following exercise is very loosely based on the yoga nidra or relaxation technique, and you lie on the floor in what is known as the Corpse pose. Nidra means 'yogic sleep', but you are, in fact, very much aware, and carry your awareness around your body, focusing on each area in turn. Bearing this in mind, it is important not to fall asleep - so make sure the room is warm but not stuffy before you start. Once you are able to achieve a deep rest using this basic pose, you may wish to introduce some meditation

Preparing for relaxation

Many people find it helpful to record the instructions on tape (see box, below) and play it while they do the relaxation exercise. If you do use a tape, place the player within easy reach so you don't have to get up to switch it on after the preparation.

Your body temperature will drop somewhat during relaxation, so make sure you have something, such as a blanket or towel, to cover yourself with. A pair of socks is also a good idea, as the feet can feel cold. Most importantly, endeavour to make sure you will not be disturbed, which would stop the whole relaxation in its tracks, defeating the object of the exercise. see Recording a relaxation tape


Relaxation techniques ...


Is meditation for everyone? Is meditation for everyone? Generally yes, especially at this level, which is very much 'try it and see'. The only note of caution I'd add is that if you are going through a particularly difficult emotional time, you shouldn't expect an introductory meditation practice to suddenly make everything fine again.

You'll have more to work with, but it will feel harder at first. Equally, if you're suffering from serious depression, schizophrenia or other mental difficulties, take medical advice before starting meditation. It may not help you at all, or your medication may make it harder for you to do the practice.

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