The Lower Body Going Nowhere

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Once you are in the corpse pose and have followed all the steps mentioned earlier, but before you focus on your breath, relax your lower body:

1. Tighten one foot, curling the toes and contracting your foot muscles for a few seconds. Then release and feel the tension flowing from your foot.

2. Flex your ankle and tighten your calf, then relax both.

3. Lift your entire leg two inches off the ground. Tense your leg, especially the large thigh muscle. Squeeze! Then let your leg fall to the ground. With the release, imagine all the tension falling away.

4. Repeat these three steps with your other foot and leg.

5. Lift your hips two inches off the floor and squeeze your buttocks as tightly as you can for several seconds. Then release the contraction and drop your hips back down. Feel all the tight areas releasing and relaxing. Your hip joints should feel loose and your buttocks muscles completely relaxed.

If lying flat on the floor is uncomfortable for your back, put pillows or blankets under your knees. This protects your lower back from undue strain. If your head or neck is uncomfortable, rest your head or neck on a small pillow, but make sure your throat feels open. Too many pillows could block the flow of energy through your neck; too few pillows could cause your neck to overstrain backward. If you have low blood pressure and your feet get cold, wear socks. Strive for a feeling of openness in all parts of your body.

Continuing upward:

1. Contract your stomach muscles as tightly as you can, then release them.

2. Lift one arm about two inches off the floor. Squeeze your hand into a fist and hold it tightly. Flex your arm muscles for several seconds, then relax your entire arm and let it fall. Feel stress and tightness flowing down your arm and out the ends of your fingers. Repeat with the other arm.

Ouch!

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