The second in the on-going series of yoga and related activities for retired people written by Mrs Summerhouse who is, you will remember, a trained and experienced yoga teacher. I asked her this time to write an article about relaxation / meditation techniques. I don’t know about you but sometimes I need it. As Mrs SH put it – we all need quiet times and retirement is no different. When life tries to defeat you, take some time out, find a place where you can be alone, no phones, no emails, no distractions and try the following :
- Try sitting either on the floor crossed legged if you are flexible, or sit with your back against a wall. Alternatively if you prefer you can sit on a straight-backed chair just so long as you are sitting upright and with your feet flat on the floor. As above.
- Close your eyes and relax your facial muscles.
- Have your mouth softly closed, not tight.
- Talk to yourself calmly, say “I’m letting go”
- Consciously let go of any tensions in the neck, shoulders, back; work down to your feet repeating to yourself – I am letting go.
- Then begin to observe your breathing. Observe your breath going in and then out.
- The in-breath is your energising breath and the out-breath is the relaxing breath. The out-breath ideally wants to be a little longer than the in-breath.
- Concentrate on slowing down and lengthening the whole process of breathing. This will have a positive and relaxing effect on you physically and mentally.
- Aim for about a 15 minutes session but don’t expect instant success.
One of the most difficult aspects of yoga is the challenge to BE STILL. To still the body is easier, to still the mind requires more practice.
As somebody once said, don’t just do something, sit there. Like Archie now he has very little trouble relaxing. See below.