Relaxation Exercise to Reduce Tension

This is an easy way to reduce tension in your life. Try this Tense and Release Relaxation. This practice is very simple to do and will probably take no more than 2-4 minutes (longer if you have time). The basic exercise is to tense muscle groups, and then release the tension. You may find it comfortable to go through the sequence only one time, or to go through it several times.

Do both the tensing and the releasing with full awareness. There is no need to tense at 100% of your capacity–about 50% of your capacity to tense will be sufficient.

It is best to maintain breath awareness as you do this as you begin to feel that breath is a manifestation of energy, and how that energy flows throughout you.

  • First, tense all of the muscles of the face, including forehead, cheeks, mouth, and upper neck. Then release with full awareness. You will notice the relaxation.
  • Gently roll the head from side to side, with awareness of the tightening muscles, and the feeling of release.
  • Tighten the shoulders, pulling them upwards and forwards. Then release.
  • Tense the entire right arm, from the shoulder down through the fingers. Do this without making a fist or lifting your arm off of the floor. Allow your attention to be deep inside the arm, not just on the surface. Then release slowly, with awareness.
  • Tense the left arm in the same way, and observe the release.
  • Gently tense the muscles of the chest and the abdomen, while continuing to breathe without holding the breath. Then release.
  • Tense and release the right hips and the buttocks.
  • Tense and release the right leg, down through the feet and toes in the same way that the right arm was tensed and released.
  • Tense and release the left hips and buttocks.
  • Tense and release the left leg.
  • While no longer tensing any muscles, allow your attention to drift back up through the legs, through the abdomen and chest, through the arms, and back to the face.
  • After completing the Tense and Release practice enjoy savasana as break from a hectic day or use it to prepare for further meditation. Think of this as a “mini-retreat”. Love yourself, love your day, love your life!

    ABOUT SILVIA MORDINI, E-RYT, lululemon Ambassador, Life Coach, Teacher Trainer
    Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Silvia. Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. Silvia lives her happiness in such a big way that you can’t help but leave her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats spiritually uplifted!

    Being a citizen of the world and spiritual adventurer is in her blood. Born in Ecuador, raised traveling around the world she is an enthusiastic friend gatherer who loves to discuss happiness psychology, poetry, music, books, travel and philosophy. She is a long-time love anthropologist and humble student of life who enjoys meeting interesting people, spiritual seekers, soul surfers and most anyone who makes her laugh.
    Silvia currently resides in Seattle where she makes yoga approachable and inspiring for everyone. Her focus is on bringing more fun on the mat with the hope that how we practice our yoga becomes how we live our life. As an Experienced Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with over 9,000 hours of yoga teaching experience who has been practicing yoga over the last 15 years after being run over by a car and using it to recover physically and emotionally.

    Silvia is the creator of Alchemy of Yoga, a nationally recognized RYT200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (Self-Study) Program in its 12 cycle. She owned a successful, well-loved Chicagoland yoga studio for 9 years. Silvia writes regularly for mindbodygreen.com along with producing her “Loving Your Day” videos and Love Your Life yoga blog. She is a proud lululemon ambassador, life coach and Manduka ambassador, who offers popular workshops on Living Your Yoga, Chakra Vinyasa, Hip-Hop Yoga, Yoga and Journaling, Ayurveda, Meditation and Manifestation. Silvia and her partner also lead Spiritual Adventure Yoga Retreats Nationally and Internationally through Alchemy Tours.

    Silvia can be reached:
    Web: http://www.alchemytours.com or http://www.silviamordini.com
    Email at silvia@alchemytours.com
    Twitter @alchemytours
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