We all know that one of the necessary things needed to keep an automobile in good condition is cooling the engine when it gets hot. Well the same principle applies to the human body. When the body and mind are constantly overworked, their efficiency in performing their duties diminishes. Modern social life, food, work and even play make it difficult for the modern man to use a proper relaxation technique for rejuvenation. An observance of nature will show us that animals love relaxation and sleep. They get as much sleep as they want. Rest and sleep are essential to recharge our nervous energy as our physical, emotional and mental balance depends on the quantity and quality of these vital necessities. They are the only things that recharge these batteries and allow for the proper elimination of metabolic wastes. But just how can one learn a proper relaxation technique? Only the corpse pose offered to us in Yoga can aid modern man to recapture the art of relaxation. In order to achieve this, three methods are used by the yogis.
The three methods are known as physical, mental and spiritual relaxation.
Physical Relaxation Technique:
We all know that every action is the result of thought originated in the mind consciously or subconsciously. When we want to perform an act, the thought is generated in the mind, is transmitted to the brain and simultaneously, the brain telegraphs the message through the nerves, and the muscles contract. Therefore as we can send messages to make the muscles contract, we can send messages to make them relax. This relaxation technique is known as autosuggestion. Commence autosuggestions from the toes upwards while the suggestion passes through the muscles and reaches up to the eyes and ears at the top. This is performed by saying mentally to yourself: “My toes are hereby relaxed; my ankles are hereby relaxed…”
Mental Relaxation Technique:
During mental tension one should breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes and concentrate on breathing. Slowly the mind will become calm and one is able to feel a kind of floating sensation.
Spiritual Relaxation Technique:
However one tries to relax the mind, one cannot completely remove all tensions and worries from it unless one goes to spiritual relaxation. This is in itself is a slightly demanding but very rewarding practice. Yogis know that unless man can withdraw himself from the body idea and separate himself from the ego consciousness, there is no way of obtaining complete relaxation. So from mental relaxation, he withdraws himself and identifies himself with the all-pervading, all powerful, all peaceful and joyful self, because all the source of power, knowledge are in the soul and not the body. Man can only free himself from the clutches of evil emotions by asserting his true self by stating mentally: "I am that pure consciousness or self." This identification with the self-completes the process of relaxation. The method to be applied here is to breathe deeply and squarely in a ratio of 5:5:5 seconds while mentally chanting the mantra above. As you will observe it goes hand-in-hand with mental relaxation after the physical auto suggestions are completed. To get the most of this practice, you should practice this after your poses, before going to sleep or even during a break or recess at work or school, or right at your desk.
I always tell people: “Hey if it is said God took a break on the 7th day after making the world, who are we as humans not to take time out to relax?” So to recharge your energy and restore you physical, mental and emotional balance and strength, apply the methods above to learn how to relax the proper way.