For Those Who Tend To Get Tensed Easily
In this post, other than the techniques you’ll learn the scientific principles of relaxation at the mental level. This is important to know before learning more about the techniques of the great Master of yoga – Paramhansa Yogananda.
Also, you’ll find some short videos along the line to broaden your understanding.
Super-relaxation is complete, voluntary withdrawal of consciousness and energy from the entire body.
People often talk of relaxation, but few know how to achieve it. Some people know how to relax physically but not mentally.
For complete relaxation of the whole body, first gently tense the entire body. Then relax and withdraw all energy from the body and remain relaxed, without the slightest physical motion.
The following video is taken from Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises. A scientific innovation he made in the late 1920s. You can see how to tense and relax 20 body parts in the video.
The complete absence of motion and tension from muscles and limbs is “relaxation.”
Imagine that the body is jelly-like, without bones or muscles. When you can do this, you have attained perfect muscular relaxation.
Mental relaxation signifies complete mental rest. You can achieve this by practicing going to sleep at will.
Relax the body and think of the drowsiness you feel just before you fall asleep. Then try to reproduce that state. (Use imagination, not will, to do this.)
Most people do not relax even while they sleep. Their minds are restless; hence they dream. Therefore, conscious mental relaxation is better than relaxation that is the by-product of passive physical relaxation, or sleep. In this way you can choose to dream or to keep dreams off your mental motion picture screen.
No matter how busy you are, do not forget now and then to free your mind completely from worries and all duties. Just dismiss them from your mind. Remember, you were not made for them; they were made by you. Do not allow them to torture you.
When you are beset by overwhelming mental trials or worries, try to fall asleep. If you can do that, you will find on awakening that mental tension is relieved and that worry has loosened its grip on you.
Tell yourself that even if you died, the earth would continue to follow its orbit, and business would be carried on as usual; hence, why worry? When you take yourself too seriously, death comes to mock you and remind you of the brevity of material life and its duties.
Mental relaxation consists in the ability to free the attention at will from haunting worries over past and present difficulties; consciousness of constant duty; dread of accidents and other haunting fears; greed; passion; and disturbing thoughts and attachments.
Mastery in mental relaxation comes with faithful practice. It can be attained by freeing the mind of all thoughts at will and keeping the attention fixed on the peace and contentment within.
By regular practice of meditation you can divert the attention from worry to peace.
Scientifically Freed Mind
The mind must manifest calmness. Where the worries and trials of everyday life are concerned, the mind must be like water, which does not retain any impression of the waves that play on its bosom. That which can be attained unconsciously can also be attained consciously.
Through the instructions on meditation (below), one can achieve complete calmness in the heart, lungs, and other inner organs. When the muscles and inner organs are freed from motion by relaxation, the breaking down of bodily tissues and decay is temporarily inhibited. This helps to keep the bloodstream pure, for when there is decay going on in the body the waste products are thrown into the venous blood and poison it.
When tissues stop decaying, the venous blood ceases to accumulate in the body. This gives the heart a much needed rest; there is no longer a need for it to pump great quantities of venous blood into the lungs for purification, because the neutralized, electrified tissues do not require blood and oxygen. Thus, heart action and breathing become unnecessary. This leads to the release of enormous quantities of life current, which otherwise would be needed in the heart for the daily task of pumping tons of blood through the system. Thus, many billions of cells rest and depend on the sustaining life current to enable them to live in a conscious, undecaying state.
When the body cells learn the art of living without blood and oxygen, they truly know how to live by the life force coming in from the medulla.
When the energy is withdrawn from all the sensory nerves, the five sense-telephones are disconnected. No sensations can reach the brain and intelligence operators. The mind gains freedom from thoughts that begin in sensations, as well as the associated thoughts of subconscious memory. This leaves the scientifically freed mind unhampered to march Godward.
Enter into absolute silence every morning and banish thoughts for several minutes each time. Sit quietly and meditate on the joy of Silence. Think of that joy as communion with God.
The more you meditate, the more you will realize that nothing else can give you that refined joy but the increasing joy of Silence. That joy-contact in meditation is contact with God.
Pray deeply with devotion, first for God’s love, then for wisdom, happiness, health, prosperity, and then for the fulfillment of any specific legitimate wish.
Techniques for Relaxation of Paramhansa Yogananda
THE HONG-SAU TECHNIQUE OF CONCENTRATION
The purpose of the Hong-Sau technique is to help you to free your attention from outwardness, and to withdraw it from the senses, for breath is the cord that keeps the soul tied to the body.
Man lives in an atmosphere of air, which he requires even as a fish requires water. By rising above the breath in breathlessness, man can enter the celestial realms of light, where the angels dwell. By dispassionately watching the breath coming in and going out, one’s breathing naturally slows, calming at last the peace-disturbing activity of the heart, lungs, and diaphragm.
This marvelous, though simple, technique is one of India’s greatest contributions to the world. It lengthens man’s lifespan, and is a practical method for rising above body-consciousness and realizing oneself as the Immortal Spirit. The words, Hong and Sau, are a Sanskrit saying, given mantric power. The original saying, “Aham saha,” means, “I—am He.”
An Extraordinary Fact: The heart normally pumps about twelve tons of blood a day! It gets no rest even at night, when most of the other organs have a chance to suspend their activity at least partially. The most worked (and overworked) organ in the body is the heart. The Hong-Sau technique is a scientific method for resting the heart, increasing longevity thereby, and liberating a vast amount of Life Current, or energy, to be distributed over the whole body, renewing all the body cells and preventing their decay.
LEARN MEDITATION ONLINE
Another Technique for Relaxation
First, close your eyes and expel the breath; switch off the attention and energy from the senses.
Feel and mentally watch the heart and circulation.
Calm the heart by the command of will, as you stop a watch by gently touching its spring.
With calmness you can arrest the activities of the entire physical machinery. Then switch on the Life Current in the spine and brain, disconnecting your Life Current from the five sense telephones.
Convert your brain into a divine radio, receiving the Cosmic Sound of AUM.
Super-relaxation With AUM
Sit on a straight chair, with your spine upright.
Expel the breath quickly, and keep the breath out, counting mentally 1 to 10. Inhale slowly, hold breath, counting 1 to 10. Repeat ten times. Then expel the breath and forget it.
Concentrate on the toes of the left foot and say “AUM” mentally on each toe. Do the same to the toes of the right foot. Then concentrate on the sole of the left foot and then the right foot, saying, “AUM” on each. Concentrate on the left and right calves, mentally saying “AUM.” Do the same with the left and right thighs, left and right hips, navel, abdomen, liver, spleen, stomach, pancreas, heart, left and right lungs, left and right hands and arms, left side of neck, right side of neck, front and back of neck.
Say “AUM” mentally, concentrating on the pituitary gland, pineal gland, medulla, point between the eyebrows, mouth, tongue and uvula, left and right nostrils, left and right eyes, left and right ears, cerebellum, and cerebrum. Then go up and down the chakras: coccygeal, sacral, lumbar, dorsal, cervical, medulla, and Christ Center at the point between the eyebrows, mentally chanting “AUM.” Try to feel that the whole body is surrounded within and without with the holy vibration of “AUM.”
Source – Compiled excerpts from the book “How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality” – The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda.