Can’t seem to relax? Feel too rigid and tense?
Sometimes relaxation seems impossible to achieve as quite many of us struggle to relax our tight muscles that has storing up during the years, months and days. Luckily in this article I will provide you with a natural game plan that will help you access deeper layers of relaxation within your body.
However you will have to bear with me, as this will initially seem and feel more like a list of exercises than relaxations, which in a sense is true but that would only be the superficial aspect of it.
If one truly wants to relax the body and to some extent the mind, one have to move around by increasing the range of motions of ones body! One has to put it under effort so that the effortless can be extracted all the easier. Relaxation is in a sense parodoxical, as in that one has to allow the sensation of tension in order to truly become soft and relaxed. This applies not only for the body but also the mind and the spirit. We will explore the latter ones in other sessions of relaxations, as this article will rather be circulating around your physical organism and how you can make it a comfier place to live.
Well simply by letting it be looser, lighter, softer and more graceful in each movement.
So without further ado, here are the five things I urge you to do (ideally in the right order) to enjoy the fruits of this powerful physical relaxation method.
As you may have noticed, some of these may seem to be more of exercise than methods of relaxation. Well both are true, you are getting some exercise as well as setting up your body for deeper layers of relaxations within the body. However these five points are not intended to exhaust you, oh no, so in that sense it is not an exercise session though you may get some exercise out of it. You don’t need to walk/jog/sprint for a long time or at a long distance, you can simply take a stroll and stay outside for 20+ minutes and return home to stretch.
If you feel that you know how to walk, jog, sprint, stretch and do some qigong, you don’t really need to read any further than this. However if you would like to know a little bit more before you embark on this little adventure, please do read on as I will give reasons and descriptions of why this is an effective set of five points towards relaxation.
So let us indeed begin with the first one!
Walking is among the most natural things we can do and a great way to start off our adventure towards total relaxation. Now simply by walking our tendons and muscles stretch out thoroughly so that one starts feeling lighter on ones feet after a couple minutes of a walk. This is a great way to start off the day, considering the immobile stale position that one inevitably oneself when sleeping for X amount of hours.
A couple things to keep in mind in order to fully derive the relaxation from walking is to be loose and frisky when walking. Meaning that your almost overly flail around your body in order to loosen up the tendons and ligaments even more. Let your body be as soft and loose as possible when walking and then you will be surprised as to how relaxing a simple walk can be.
The next phase of this five phase exercise/relaxation game plan is to jog. After you have taken your nice little walk for lets say 10+ minutes and now that you truly feel looser in your body, you can now go further by jogging lightly. This will further stretch out your body and make it possible for a greater relaxation to kick in.
Now the purpose is not to tire yourself out, as this is not mainly a exercise session, but rather to jog for more fluidity, flexibility and capacity of movement of your physical stature. Jogging lightly and for a short while is a good preparation for the real deal, which is…
Now I realize not all are capable of sprinting, depending on your age or maybe an physical impediment. If you are able however, this is probably the pinnacle of those previous mentioned. Sprinting will access even the remotest and hidden tendons and muscles in your body by activating them and working them. This activation will result in, our favourite word for the moment, thorough stretching of your body.
It will stretch you out in a way that will not be possible by merely walking or jogging. As ones entire body goes close to the limit of what movement it can produce.
I like to sprint for 10-20 seconds and then rest, and start again whenever I deem it right. That means 10-20 seconds of intense running with full bodily expression.
Oh our favourite word appeared again! Stretching! Well its quite obvious that one should stretch after an workout session, even though as I said we don’t mainly view this as an work out but more of an pre-relaxation session. Now by sedentary stretching you can get creative in any way you want to. You can do yoga or other disciplines that incorporate stretching, or you can simply do normal stretching exercises that I suppose most people would know.
Conscious and sedentary stretching also brings your attention to your physical body as it is, this is a great way of relaxing the mind as well, even though that is not the main focus of our blogpost.
Now this is the pinnacle of our proactive five step journey towards relaxation. Qigong can also be viewed as a soft and slow form of dance. The movements incorporated in qigong access parts of your body which normally aren’t accessed in everyday life. The movements can be both simple and complex, but they all share the quality of increasing ones range of motion and the slow and steady rhythm that soothes one body into deeper and deeper bodily and mental relaxation. If you don’t know how to go about doing some qigong, I recommend that you look up some videos on your friend YouTube, as there is plenty of material there, from beginners to advanced on how begin practicing qigong.
When done all these steps in the right order, you may or I dare say will, feel an deeper level of relaxation opening up within you. The reason I mentioned the three first steps is that nothing can really replace them in the static and sedentary department of moving or stretching. In other words, one needs to do some walking, jogging and sprinting in order to more fully access parts of the body that are unreachable by some sedentary activities. When done so, combined with normal stretching, yoga and finally qigong, one can feel an tremendous lightness and bodily fluidity after.
Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish and lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized deep relaxations of the psyche when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel currently studies history and philosophy at Uppsala Universitet, as he is currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist, Yogic and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.