"Into the Magic Shop" rest four exercises that I hope you make choice to inhabit and make a part of my everyday life.
These exercises are easy and some of you may have encountered these in previous texts or trainings. Please commit to these, no matter what time of day. I will do the same, and share my progress with you once a week.
Within the book, these four exercises are noted under "Ruth's Trick." This is #1. "Relaxing the Body."
-Find a time and place to do this exercise so you will not be interrupted.
-Do not start if you are already stressed, have other matters distracting you, have drunk alcohol, used recreational drugs, or are tired.
-Before beginning sit for a few minutes and just relax. Think of what you wish to accomplish with this exercise. Define your intention.
-Now close your eyes.
-Begin by taking three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat until you get used to this type of breathing so that breathing itself is not distracting you.
-Once you feel comfortable breathing in this manner, specifically think about how you are sitting and imagine you are looking at yourself.
-Now begin focusing on your toes and relax them. Now focus on your feet, relaxing the muscles. Imagine them almost melting away as you continue to breathe in and out. Only focus on your toes and feet. When you begin, it will be easy to be distracted or have your thoughts wander. When this happens, simply begin again, relaxing the muscles within your toes and feet.
-Once you have been able to relax your toes and feet, extend the exercise upward, relaxing your calves and thighs.
-Then relax the muscles in your abdomen and your chest.
-Next think of your spine and relax the muscles all along your spine and up to your shoulders and your neck.
-Notice that there is a calm coming over you. It's ok to feel sleepy. Be patient. Be kind to yourself.
-Focus on your heart and think of relaxing your heart muscle as you slowly breathe in and out. You will find that your heartbeat will slow as your body relaxes and your breathing slows.
-Imagine your body, now completely relaxed, and experience the sense of simply being you as you slowly breathe in and out. Feel the sense of warmth. Many will feel a sense of floating and will be overcome with a sense of calmness. Continue to slowly breathe in and slowly exhale out.
-With intention, remember this sense of relaxation, calmness and warmth.
-Now slowly open your eyes. Sit for a few minutes with your eyes open and just be with no other intention or thought.
Breath and relaxation are the first steps in taming the mind. -James Doty, MD