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relaxation exercise, those toes, closed mouth, uncertain terms

Tense and Release

Author: Dawn Firewolf

If you've never tried a relaxation exercise before, you may not know what relaxation truly feels like. That's the point of this exercise - to show you in no uncertain terms the difference between 'tense' and 'relaxed'. It's also fun to do, in my opinion.

You can try this sitting if you wish but it will be much easier if you find a comfortable spot where you can lie down and completely stretch out. Take a few moments to simply 'be' and take several deep breaths. When you're ready, turn your attention to your feet.

Completely contract the muscles in your feet. I mean, just turn those toes under and squeeze! Do it until you can't squeeze any more...and hold it. Yes, hold it. (you can do it!) Don't worry about it if you start to shake - it's normal. Hold the tension for about 10 seconds and then just let go. Notice how you feet feel now - that is what relaxation feels like!

Do this for each part of your body. Work your way up - contract, hold and release the muscles in your calves; thighs, buttocks, belly...

When you get to your arms, you'll be doing the entire arm at once. Make a fist before you contract your muscles and then proceed as before. Continue to work your way up, tensing your neck and releasing.

Here's what you do to relax your head: Do a 'closed mouth' grin and turn the corners of your mouth up as far as you can. At the same time, pull your eyebrows down as far as they will go. Hold this for 10 seconds and release.

Now all there is left to do is lie still and bask in the sensation of being relaxed. Enjoy!

Suggested Pdf Resources

Relaxation and Stress Reduction Techniques
being tense as you do this. When you release the tension do so abruptly if you can, since this will create a more sudden feeling of limpness and relaxation.
Desktop Yoga Week 1 - Week
As you exhale, release the air from the “balloon”. • Take time to become aware of your movements.
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Tension release exercise. Lie down (right toes tense and release, left toes, up to Jaw).
Deep Muscle Relaxation
the effect of controlling pain. Muscle relaxation is very easy to use, and consists of learning to tense and release various muscle groups throughout the body.
Road to Resiliency 20 minute workshop
A full progressive relaxation technique allows you to tense and release your muscles for your entire body.

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Suggested Web Resources

How to Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation - wikiHow
Nov 8, 2009 With each tense and release cycle, you'll notice it becomes easier and easier to release and relax each muscle group.
Yoga Meditation: Relaxation Before Meditation
The basic practice is simply to tense muscle groups, and then release the tension .
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Oct 16, 2006 If you're stuck in a stressful situation, try this tense-and-release relaxation exercise. It may help things look clearer in a few minutes.
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Tense and Release - part 1 - YouTube
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