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Total body relaxation

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We know how easy it is to become consumed with your passion – one minute it's thrilling and engaging, the next, exhausting and overwhelming, with no separation between what you do and who you are.

We’ve spent many moments obsessing about things beyond our control. If like us, you've found yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, it's proven that practising mindfulness will help you stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.

The following relaxation technique from acclaimed author and meditation expert, Tami Roos, focuses on each individual body part to provide a feeling of total body relaxation. Allow time in your schedule to fully utilise this technique… It’s best to seat yourself in a hardback chair that offers back support.

 

01 – FEET AND CALVES: Stretch back all toes and tense feet and calves at the same time. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax them. Hold the relaxed position for 5-10 seconds. Now curl your toes downward and repeat tensing feet and calves. Hold for 5 seconds, and relax for 5-10 seconds. After relaxing body parts, focus on releasing all tension from them.

02 – THIGHS:  Tense both thighs, hold for 5 seconds, and then relax them. Press down with both heels and tense again, then relax.

03 – HIPS AND BUTTOCKS: Push your buttocks backward into the chair and tense them. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax for 5-10 seconds. Rock your hips forward slowly, tense for 5 seconds, and then relax.

04 – LOWER BODY: Tense all the muscles in your lower body at once – feet, calves, thighs, hips and buttocks – hold for 5 seconds and then relax.

05 – STOMACH AND LOWER BACK: Push out your stomach and tense your stomach and lower back muscles. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Now pull (suck) in your stomach and tense your lower back muscles. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.

06 – CHEST AND BACK: Arch your shoulders forward while exhaling and caving in your chest. Tense all your upper back and shoulder muscles for five seconds and relax. Push your shoulders back and take a deep breath while pushing out your chest. Tense all your upper back and chest muscles, hold for five seconds and relax.

07 – TAKE A MINUTE TO SETTLE: Feel your body becoming heavier as all the tension flows from your body.

08 – ARMS AND SHOULDER:  Tense your shoulders, arms and hands, making tight fists. Tense and hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 5-10 seconds. Curl your forearms, wrists, and fists inward toward your shoulders. Tense and hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 5-10 seconds.

09 – FACE: Close your eyes, roll your head back slowly, open your mouth wide, and screw up your face, tensing all the muscles in your head and face. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax for 5-10 seconds. With your eyes still closed, smile widely while screwing up your whole face, tensing all facial, scalp and jaw muscles. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax for 5-10 seconds. Frown deeply while screwing up your face and tense your scalp, jaw and facial muscles. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax.

10 – TAKE ONE MINUTE TO SETTLE: Feel how deeply relaxed your body is becoming, releasing all tension in your muscles.

11 – JAW: With your head held in a balanced resting position, force your lower jaw straight out. Tense your jaw and hold for 5 seconds, then relax.

12 – NECK I: Arch your neck forward slowly and press your chin down firmly onto your chest as far as possible. Refrain from tensing or forcing, hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally, and then slowly return to your normal resting position.

13 – NECK II: Slowly push your head back and firmly push your chin straight up. Refrain from tensing or forcing your neck muscles. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally, and then slowly relax your head back to its balanced resting position.

14 – NECK III: Keep your head in its normal resting position and slowly grit your teeth and tense all your neck muscles, feel the tension spread through your entire neck and up around your skull. Hold for 10 seconds and relax.

15 – FULL-BODY STRETCH: Do a full body stretch, pushing out your arms and legs with your head back. Stretch and tense as much as you can while taking a long, slow, deep breath. Tense and hold for 5 seconds. Then relax your whole body while slowly and deeply exhaling.


Tami Roos is an author, instructor and highly sought-after public speaker on the topics of wellness and mindfulness. A PhD graduate from the University of Hawaii, Tami looks to embrace the connection between influence and impact – assisting those who want to access the potential that mindfulness can have on performance.