A Deep Relaxation Exercise
While most martial artists spend a lot of time practicing their arts and perfecting their moves, very few balance the practice out with relaxation. Relaxing allows us to loosen up, to let ourselves flow comfortably and to have our body become rejuvenated. Here's an exercise you can do right before you go to sleep every night.
The goal of this exercise is to relax every part of your mind and body. Let's begin. Before going to sleep, lie on your back with your legs outstretched and your arms at your sides and relaxed. Your arms and legs do not have to be together, they can be up to a foot away from each other and your body. Take several deep breaths and hold the inhale for about 8 seconds. Slowly exhale and repeat.
Imagine that your arms and legs are floating. Feel the tension melt away from all parts of your body. Let your breathing become natural and non-controlled. As you go deeper into this state of relaxation, you should start feeling your whole body tingling. Let this happen for several minutes. The tingling is your energy flowing and the relaxation taking place. It is a moment of rest and rejuvenation. After several minutes, or if the tingling subsides, slowly turn on your side and go to sleep.
Doing this exercise every night will help you feel more youthful and relaxed. It should also help clear your mind for the challenges ahead the next day.
Rick Zanotti runs a multimedia training company and teaches Northern Shaolin and internal martial arts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.