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How to relax your mind and body

By Kamlesh Patel
March 22, 2019 09:30 IST
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Patanjali recommended relaxation as the prerequisite to his last three steps of yoga: concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and absorption (samadhi).

How to relax your mind and soul

When was the last time you stretched out your legs, closed your eyes and felt your heart beats?

Unfortunately, even when we are sleeping with our eyes closed, our minds are elsewhere. Which is why we are unable to relax completely.

A stressed mind and body hampers concentration and adds to other health problems.

In the book Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way, author Kamlesh Patel stresses on the importance of having a relaxed mind and body.

We bring you an excerpt from the book which lists a step by step process to help you relax fully.

Designing DestinyTake a minute to observe yourself and see if you are fully relaxed.

If you observe carefully, you will probably find that some part of your body is tense or uncomfortable.

It is one of the modern-day epidemics; we live in a state of chronic stress

Why is it important to relax?

There are many reasons, including to unwind physically, to calm down when we are upset, to relax tired muscles at the end of a hectic day at the office, and to free our bodies and minds so that we can meditate.

We need to be able to gently close our eyes and let our inner experiences unfold when we meditate.

Arriving at effortlessness combined with a steady and comfortable posture prepares us to plunge into meditation...

...You can narrate the instructions for others or you can do them for yourself.

The process is very simple and very gentle.

If you are not able to remember all the steps and somehow skip one, there is no need to worry.

The main idea is to relax yourself completely, to the extent of dissolving yourself and then bringing your attention ultimately to the heart, where you can intensely feel your own Centre.

That is the goal of relaxation.

Here are the steps:

  • Sit comfortably and close your eyes very softly and very gently.
  • Let’s begin with the toes. Wiggle your toes. Now feel them relax.
  • Feel the healing energy of Mother Earth move up into your feet and ankles. Then up to your knees, relaxing your lower legs.
  • Now feel the healing energy move up your legs … relaxing them. Relax your thighs.
  • Now, deeply relax your hips … stomach … and waist.
  • Relax your back. From the top to the bottom, the entire back is relaxed
  • Relax your chest … and shoulders. Feel your shoulders simply melting away.
  • Relax your upper arms. Relax each muscle in your forearms … your hands … right up to your fingertips.
  • Relax your neck muscles. Move your awareness up to your face. Relax your jaw … mouth … nose … eyes … earlobes … facial muscles … forehead … all the way to the top of your head.
  • Feel that your whole body is completely relaxed. Scan you system from top to toe, and if there is any part of your body that is still tense, painful or unwell, spend some more time immersing it in the healing energy of Mother Earth.
  • When you are ready, move your attention to your heart. Rest there for a little while. Feel immersed in the love and light in your heart.
  • Remain still and quiet, and slowly become absorbed in yourself.
  • Remain absorbed for as long as you want, until you feel ready to come out.

Patanjali recommended relaxation as the prerequisite to his last three steps of yoga: concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and absorption (samadhi).

Unless your body is relaxed during meditation, your attention will keep moving from one part of your body to another, as you try to make each part comfortable.

If you meditate with crossed legs, your legs may become uncomfortable and your attention will then not be on the object of meditation but on your physical discomfort.

So in order to dissolve that, you need to relax.

 Lead image -- a still from Love Meditation -- published for representational purposes only.

Excerpted from Designing Destiny: The Heartfulness Way by Kamlesh Patel, with the kind permission of the publishers, Westland.

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Kamlesh Patel