If you haven’t been able to surmise from my previous posts, or if you haven’t read any of my previous posts I will lay it out plainly. The ability to engage a relaxed body/mind is a fundamental and important skill. We all know this. We don’t need another study telling us the health benefits. We just need to love ourselves enough to take the time to relax. It doesn’t matter if you are engaging yourself from a Taoist model, or a Ch’an or Zen model, a Yogic model, or if you are just trying to feel better in our modern consensual reality. The ability to relax your full body/mind is really important. There are many ways to engage relaxation. This morning I took a pretty direct route.
It was a part of a larger very old system of Chi Gung called Ching Shen Nui Gung, though meditators and people engaging Kung Fu and the internal Arts have been using it since the beginnings of these arts. The sequence is commonly referred to as the relax, sink and extend routine. It requires more room than I have on a page of a blog to write down. But the Idea of it is that you progressively relax from your fingertips up your arms , across your shoulders, up your neck to the top of your head, then down through the central core of your body bit by bit touching it all till you get to your feet. Then you connect with the chi of the ground even more by letting it flow into you and out of you kind of a full body tension wash, then you let it fill you and sink down into the lower half of your body, and circulate the chi up the back of the head then down the front to the lower half of your body supporting the sense that the lower half of your body it getting full and heavy while the upper half of your body stays light. Then with your storehouse of gathered chi in the lower half of your body/mind, you extend chi from your arms and legs from a place 3 1/2 inches below your belly button and inward. In a very quick nutshell ,this is the process, though it is more specific in practice.
The point here is to relax. Create moments in your day that you engage a sense of relaxation. You can take one part of this and relax, sink and extend routine and relax from your fingertips to your feet. You can send smiles down through your body, You can take a few minutes to do this or like this morning I took about 1 hour to slowly touch each part of my Body/Mind to suggest that it relax. The more that you engage suggesting to yourself that you relax from your fingertips through your body to your feet the easier it gets. Sometimes it takes a moment to remember , how do I relax my brain, my eyes, my butt, my kneecaps. With practice, you have an easier time finding those different areas of your body to suggest that they relax. All I can say is that it is well worth your time and effort. Once a week, every day, to engage relaxation of your entire body/mind. I find it helpful, to move through it very slowly, bit by bit every once in a while. Just a note, there are some “relaxation” recordings that suggest starting from the feet and moving upwards. This is the wrong direction for relaxation. Remember , Fingers through the arms, to the head and down through the body is the way to suggest yourself to relax. That is how the body naturally relaxes.
Have fun and remember to relax.