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Lions Roar : January 2019
WHEN YOU’RE HAVING an intense day at work, school, or with family activities, and you don’t have time for a full deep relax- ation session, divide your day into segments and relax between each segment or activity. I myself take several short deep relaxation breaks every day. We think we can’t take a moment to rest, but just a few minutes of deep relaxation can renew us and bring peace and vitality back to body and mind. Find a place to lie down where you won’t be disturbed. If there’s not enough space, pull a chair near the wall, close your eyes, and stretch out your legs. Relax your body and follow your breathing. Bring your attention to just a few of your body parts instead of doing the whole sequence. The shoulders are often a good place to bring our attention: “Breathing in, I’m aware of my shoulders. Breath- ing out, I relax my shoulders and release the tension.” After relaxing like this for a few minutes, you will come to your next activity refreshed and with more physical energy and mental clarity. Deep relaxation can also help if you have trouble sleeping. Lie down on your bed and become aware of your breathing. Place your hand on your abdomen, feel it rise and fall with your in-breath and out- breath. You might say quietly to yourself, “Breathing in, I’m aware of the muscles in my face. Breathing out, I release the muscles in my face,” or simply, “Breath- ing in, I smile. Breathing out, I release.” A gentle smile will relax the muscles in your face and help calm your nervous system. This is loving-kindness directed to your- self. Even if you don’t sleep, resting in this way can be almost as good as sleeping. ♦ “unexpectedly centering.” @simply_sitting /simplysittinggear simplysitting.com f ind true center the ultra lightweight meditation seat that breaks down and reassembles in one swift, magnetic motion for easy portability patented pedestal design promotes perfect posture, balance, and breathing the evolution of the meditation bench handcrafted and curved for comfort “groundbreaking.” “a total game changer.” LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2019 27 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE