Relaxation in this group responds best to muscle tension reduction combined with smooth rhythmic breathing. Some tense people, however, find that a period of physical activity before bringing about the relaxation response helps the whole process, and so a brisk walk, a gentle or graduated jog, or the Aeroplane yoga-type exercises detailed on pages 27 – 30 may be useful.
For all relaxation sessions follow the relaxation response components 1 and 2, outlined on page 9. Lying flat on the floor on a couple of blankets is an excellent body position for this group. (A routine is always to be preferred as everyone’s body responds automatically to habit, and after a few days much of your learned relaxation will be automatically conditioned. Your relaxation room, the time of day and your general surroundings will automatically set the scene for the relaxation response.)
Your sense of commitment will determine how successful you are in learning the natural benefit of relaxation. The onus of success lies entirely with you and achievement is available to anyone who commits themself to the programme. Talking other people into trying to master the relaxation response often proves unrewarding.