Continuing from my last list of relaxation techniques, here’s a list of 3 more relaxation techniques that I have experimented with. These all help to release the tension in your muscles to get better relaxed to prepare for meditation.
1. Ball of Light Visualization
This relaxation technique makes use of visualization to prepare for meditation. It involves forming a brilliantly shining ball of light and moving it along your body to allow it to relax yourself.
It is helpful to be able to visualize both images and sensation but it is okay if you have trouble with these. You can do this relaxation technique either sitting down or laying down.
I like to do it laying down because then I can move the ball in a straight line down my body. When I’m sitting down, I have to do a little zig-zag with the ball to get my legs.
It’s just easier to visualize it while I’m laying down but do what works best for you 🙂
First, imagine a ball of golden light above your head that is about a foot wide. Let it grow brighter and brighter until it has the intensity of the sun.
Once it has reached that intensity, pull it down to encompass your entire head. Feel it radiating around your head and feel its warmth seeping into your skin.
Slowly move it down to your neck. Again, feel the warmth in your neck and let it relax that area. Next, take it down to your chest and let its warmth relax your chest.
Continue moving this ball of light throughout your body. Take it down one arm, back to your torso, down the other arm, back to your torso again, then down your abdomen, and down each body part all the way to your feet.
Let the ball of light relax each body part as it passes through it – feel the tension releasing. When you are done, bring it back to any area that you feel still needs work.
When you bring it back to a problem area, move the ball back and forth – parallel with your spine to concentrate the warmth in that area. Do this until you feel that you’ve spent enough time on the area.
2. Body Awareness
Of the relaxation techniques, this one does not have to make use of visualization images like the previous one does, but it can be helpful. Instead, it uses tactile visualization – physical sensations to prepare for meditation.
It helps you understand what is going on inside your body and what areas have the most tension. By becoming aware of our body and areas of tension, we can consciously focus on these areas and relax them.
For this relaxation technique, we are going to start at the feet. You can either do this one sitting down or laying down – both will work.
Shift your awareness to your feet. How do they feel? Is there tension in them? Next you are going to relax them. Be aware of each muscle in your foot.
Now feel each muscle releasing its tension and totally relaxing. If you are having trouble with feeling it release, then physically tense that muscle.
When you relax it, pay special attention to how it feels when it relaxes. Remember that sensation. Continue this throughout your whole body from your toes to the top of your head.
Again, scan your body. If you feel any areas that still need relaxing, then go over that area again.
You can include visualizing images when you are relaxing each area of your body. When you are focusing on an area, visualize that the area is melting like wax.
3. Progressive Relaxation to Prepare for Meditation
This is the easiest of the relaxation techniques to use to prepare for meditation because there is no visualization involved whatsoever.
Especially if your body’s muscles prevent you from relaxing. In this technique, you are going to flex each part of your body one part at a time.
It can take quite a bit of time but in the end it is worth it. I would say that this is the most effective way to relax your entire body.
The only way you may experience trouble with this is if you have some physical issue that would prevent you from flexing your muscles or otherwise flex them fully.
I have issues with my upper back so it is a challenge to get that area relaxed. Often if there is an area that I have to do over and over again, it’s my upper back.
To start off, begin with your toes and feet. Tense up your feet and hold it for 4 seconds. Release the tension and feel your muscles relaxing.
Now, move up your body to your shins and flex them as well. Release, and allow relaxation to overcome them.
Continue moving up your body until you’ve finished relaxing your face. You should go up your in the following order:
- upper legs
- back of legs
- lower back
- front of neck
- back of neck
Lastly, once you have finished tensing and relaxing your entire body, redo any areas that still need relaxing.
Given the techniques in this article, I would say that progressive relaxation is the easiest one. It doesn’t involve any kind of visualization so someone who is just starting out can easily complete it.
If you missed the link for the first article about relaxation techniques, here is part 1