Lie flat on your back in the supine position. Place a small pillow or folded blanket behind your head with the corners pulled under the shoulders; this ensures that your neck and shoulder muscles can relax. Don't use a thick pillow for this will tend to cause more tension by arching your neck upwards excessively. Rest the arms in line with and on each side of the body. Leave a little space between the arms and the side of the body.
The palms should face upwards and the hands should not be clenched.
The legs should be straight and slightly separated.
Try to feel the different parts of your body in contact with the floor. This is most important for it starts to develop your awareness of the different parts of the body. Feel the contact between the floor and the buttocks. If you feel that the muscles of the buttocks are pulled together, release them.
Keep your attention on the pressure between the floor and the buttocks for a few seconds until you think that this area of the body is relaxed.
Now try to feel the contact between the ground and the right heel for a few seconds. Repeat the same thing with the left heel. Now- feel the contact between the floor and the right arm, right hand, left arm, left hand, middle of the back, each shoulder blade, the back of the head and finally the whole body; spend a few seconds at each point of contact. Next, try to feel that your whole right leg is very heavy and that it is sinking into the floor. If you cannot feel this heaviness, don't worn : a little practice is necessary in the beginning. Feel the right leg become limp. Repeat the same thing with the left leg. Feel the heaviness of the whole leg and that the leg is becoming limp and sinking into the floor. Do this for a few seconds. In turn repeat the same thing with the right arm and the left arm.
If there is tension in your hands, perhaps your hands are partly clenched, release the muscular contraction.
Feel your shoulders slump into the pillow; remove the load from your shoulders. Many people, because of tension, habitually hunch their shoulders. Let them sink into the pillow.
Now drop your lower jaw; let it sag, but keeping your mouth closed. If you feel yourself frowning, try to release the muscular tension on your forehead. Throughout the practice your worries or problems may keep appearing. Tell these problems that they will receive your attention after a few minutes, but now you are practising shavasana. Don't suppress the thoughts if they occur; merely continue to direct your attention to the systematic relaxation ofthe different parts of the body in the way we have already explained. Ifyou have time repeat the same process again.. If you have managed to carry out these instructions in the way described, with awareness, then you should find that you have attained a wonderful relaxed state, physically and mentally.
When you finish the practice, gently move and clench your hands, move your feet and slowly open your eyes.
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