Deep Relaxation Technique for Stress and Anxiety Relief
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Studies have shown that deep relaxation exercises help manage stress and anxiety, thus restoring the immune system and increasing overall health and well-being. They calm mind and emotions, slow down the breath, appease the nervous system, reduce blood pressure, and assist digestion.
The following simple practice helps counteract the effects of long-term stress, which may contribute to many health problems including depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia.
You can practice Savasana (Corpse Pose), often called final or deep relaxation, at any time of the day. It can be done after you exercise, at the end of your yoga routine, or at any time that you feel the need to relax.
- Lie comfortably on your back. Allow your body to rest comfortably on the floor. (Make yourself comfortable by using a pillow or blanket to support your head and a bolster or blanket under your thighs to support your lower back).
- Allow your arms to rest slightly away from the sides of the body, palms facing upwards.
- Relax the legs, allowing them to release naturally.
- Close your eyes and consciously release your physical body into the earth. Relax the skin, muscle, and bones.
- Bring your awareness to your breath and allow the breath to be soft, smooth, and effortless.
- Practice very gentle abdominal breathing. As you inhale, feel your stomach gently filling up and rising. As you exhale, feel your abdomen gently releasing.
- With each exhale, feel your body relax and release further into the earth.
- Soften through your face, releasing the forehead, lips, throat, shoulders, hands, chest, abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, feet, and toes.
- Feel your body and mind surrendering and relaxing.
- Allow your awareness to move to the heart center (the center of the chest). Cultivate the sensation of gratitude and joy by remembering things in your life that you are grateful for.
- Breath naturally and rest in this state for 10-20 minutes.
- To come out of the pose, slowly and gently bring awareness back to your breath. As you breath in and out, consciously become aware of your body and gradually allow movement to come back to your body.
- Gently move your wrists, fingers, ankles, feet, and toes. Stretch through your body and let awareness rise.
- Slowly bend your knees, roll to your side, and pause for a few moments on your side.
- Extend through your top leg as you guide yourself up and transition to a seated position.
- You can finish your practice or move into a pranayama and/or meditation practice.