• An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow

Relax

After a busy day, I plop on the bed, sag against the pillows, burrow under the covers. Ahhhh. I can let go of the day. I pick up my Kindle or my Mac Air, read and write until fog blankets my mind. Then I flick off the light, turn on my side and wait to slide into sleep. And wait. And wait. Then I notice the tension. My jaw is tight and my teeth press against each other. I let the tension in my face melt, then find it in my shoulders. I focus on releasing my entire body, melting into the mattress, then find my face has tightened up again. My body is so used to being on the alert and ready to go that relaxing is an unnatural state that I actually have to pursue. It’s a valuable exercise in consciousness to invite, perhaps even seduce, our bodies into letting go.

We learned in a class at New College of California how powerful it is to pretend to be dead - to become as still and limp as possible, releasing all the body’s energy and impetus to move. I watched our instructor, a gifted professional dancer, as she lay on the floor and her body’s life force appeared to melt into the boards. It was gradual but discernible, harder than you might think. Pure energy management.

Experiment. Lie down and practice letting all your muscles go limp. Even without sleep, you will arise refreshed.

 

 

 

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