Relaxation Program: short form

The last lesson will take you about twenty minutes. First you simply go through the given sequence of exercises.

Sit on a chair in an upright position, both feet flat on the ground. Now just do the following exercises in a quick order to learn the sequence and how to do it.

  1. Both hands and arms
  2. Face, neck and shoulders
  3. Chest, back and belly
  4. Both legs

Relaxation Program: third training

Tighten each group of muscles and hold the tension for about 5 seconds, then relax for about 30 seconds. While focusing the inner perception on the muscles just exercised you will sense that the process of relaxation progresses a little after loosening the muscles. Let it happen that way and enjoy it. Repeat each exercise once.

At the end keep your eyes closed for a short while and enjoy the rest a little longer. Breathe in deeply and move your fingers and toes playfully. Breathe in deeply again and stretch yourself. Breathe in deeply and open your eyes. Do this at the end of each session. This breathing and stretching shall make sure that your circulation is reactivated. Usually you will feel quite refreshed afterwards.

Before you now actually start, close your eyes and enjoy the rest for a minute or so. Accept any perceptions or emerging thoughts but let them pass by like leaves floating on a creek. Do not ponder or brood, try not to start daydreaming. If some important idea comes up you can come back to it later, when your exercise is finished. Okay? Now start tensing and relaxing the muscle groups in the order you just have trained.

Relaxation Program: practice

In the next two weeks you should practice this sequence of exercises each day. Find a convenient time for your training. Usually the best times are either in the morning before breakfast or in the evening before dinner or supper. Regular practice is more important than frequency. Later you can reduce the number of training sessions to, say, three times per week.

By now you may have noticed that you can sense muscle tension and tightness much more easily than before the training. You can train this a little further by concentrating your perception from time to time on the muscle groups you exercised during this course (again, refer to the checklist of the complete training sequence). You can do this as some kind of internal checking in any situation (while phoning, while watching the TV, while waiting at the dentists ...). Just focus your attention on your hands, your arms, your neck, your chest, and so on. When you realize that a particular group of muscles is tense you simply give it the internal command "relax". You will see that it works! You need not tighten the muscles first to relax them. Train this inner awareness of muscular tension whenever you feel like it. Eventually you will find that you can calm down and relax very quickly and easily in many situations you found stressing before.

Material on this page provided by Bernd Harmsen 1996-1999.