Anxiety Insomnia? Learn Progressive Muscle Relaxation & Shavasan.

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...

(Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before a long and challenging day at work, I sometimes find it difficult to relax at bedtime. As a result of this, I find it difficult to fall asleep, which makes it difficult for me to enjoy my work the next day. To counteract this, I have learned and successfully used progressive muscle relaxation.

The  technique  is  simple:  

1. Lie  flat   on   your   back   in   bed   with   your   arms   resting   at   your   sides.  

2. Slowly   breathe  in  and  out.  

3. One  by  one,  tighten  and  then  completely  and   pleasantly   relax   each   muscle,   starting   with   the   scalp   muscles   and   moving  down  to  the  face  muscles (eyes, lips, cheeks),  neck,  shoulder,  chest,  arms,  abdomen,  back,  legs,  and  all  the  way  to  the  toe  muscles.  

4. Repeat   this   process   several   times   until   you   achieve   complete   relaxation.

The  goal  is  to  achieve  a  sense  of  complete  weightlessness  through   total   physical  relaxation.

Ready to relax even more? Learn Shavasan (Shav means corpse, Asana means posture). You may initially find it morbid and dark, but it certainly takes the whole relaxation process a lot further. During Shavasana, you not only aim for a total physical relaxation, but also for a complete and total mental inertia.

How can you achieve Shavasan? Well, you go through above mentioned four steps, and then try to achieve a state of the compete thoughtlessness. You basically try to lay there like a dead person; no muscle tone, no mental activity, no awareness of external or internal activity! This is what makes this the toughest of all Yoga postures. But, with practice and patience, you will keep on improving. Keep trying and you shall sleep better.

Besides improving your deep sleep, the progressive muscle relaxation and Shavasan provides the following benefits:

  • a decrease in heart rate and the rate of respiration
  • a decrease in blood pressure
  • a decrease in metabolic rate and the consumption of oxygen
  • a reduction in general anxiety
  • a reduction in the number and frequency of panic attacks
  • an increase in energy levels and in general productivity
  • an improvement in concentration and in memory
  • a decrease in fatigue

Relax, sleep & enjoy life.

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Comments

2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Kenneth Tippett,

    I will give this a try. I enjoyed your relaxation advice.

    Like

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