Many of us have trouble getting to sleep in the evening because our nervous system is on overload. Our days consist of a lot of stimulation and the transition to sleep can be a little rough. A relaxed body is a calm mind, and the following is an easy yet effective meditation for you to calm your system down. This is great for adults and for kids as well. This meditation can be as short as five minutes or you can extend the breathing practice for longer if it suits you. Wuf Shanti!
This practice is to get you ready for sleep so crawl in bed, lay on your back, get comfy, close your eyes.
Take a long deep inhale through your nose and a verbal sigh out of your mouth. Repeat 3 times.
Maintain a steady breath as we begin to relax individual parts of your body. You will hold the tension in each body part for at least 5 seconds.
Become aware of your feet and point your toes. Hold the tension for 5 seconds and release.
Now flex your feet. Hold the tension for 5 seconds and release.
Become aware of your thighs muscles and engage them. Hold the tension and release.
Now feel your buttocks muscles and engage them so that your hips lift slightly.
Hold the tension in the buttocks and release. Keep your breath smooth and steady.
Draw awareness to the muscles in your abdomen and engage them. Hold the tension and release.
Shifting sensation now to your hands. Ball your hands into tight fists, curl them in to engage the forearm muscles as well. Hold the tension and release.
Feel your upper arms and engage your biceps and triceps by using the muscles to lift the arms. Hold the tension and release.
Begin to squeeze your shoulders up to your ears creating tension in the chest and neck like a big shoulder shrug. Hold the tension and release.
Sensing the muscles on the upper back begin to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold and release.
Become aware of sensations in your face and open your mouth really wide and stick your tongue out as far as you can. Hold and release the tension.
Now squeeze your face really tight as though you just are a sour lemon. Hold the tension and release.
The breath is steady. Flowing in and flowing out.
You will now engage all of the muscles in the body from toes to to the head at the same time. Hold and release. Repeat this 2 more times. Everything tightens at the same time and releases at the same time.
Feel your body relaxed and heavy. Bring awareness to your breath. Inhale slowly for a count of 4.
Exhale for a count of 4. Inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of four. Even ratio breath.
If you find you can lengthen out the inhale and exhale feel free, do not create any tension by holding it.
Repeat this for at least ten rounds or longer if you feel that serves you. Perhaps you drift off to sleep.