Lie on your back on the floor with your arms placed naturally by you side, your palms uppermost and fingers relaxed. Have your legs about shoulder width apart. You may place a folded small towel beneath your head, but nothing more comfortable than that.
Now some people, especially beginners, tend go to sleep very quickly in this position and that is not what we are seeking to do. If this happens to you, adopt the following position instead: Be seated in a straight-backed chair with your hands on your thighs or knees. Sit up straight and make sure that your feet are comfortably flat on the floor. Also be certain that each side of your body is positioned identically. In other words place the hands identically with the finger spread being the same on each hand; ensure that the feet placed symmetrically.
So now, in either your lying or seated position, close you eyes.
Now, take your mind to your right thumb. Visualize it. Ensure that it is relaxed. Move it if necessary. Take your mind now to you right index finger; again, visualize it and make sure that it is relaxed. Move to the middle finger, then the ring finger and then the little finger. Move your mind now to the back of your right hand, your right wrist, your right forearm, your right upper arm. Be sure that you are visualizing each part and ensuring that it is completely relaxed. Move your visualization now to the right shoulder, the right armpit, the right side of the body, the right hip, the right knee, the right calf, the right ankle, the soul of the right foot, the right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, little toe.
Take your mind now to your left thumb, left forefinger… and so on around the left side of your body to the left little toe.
Visualize now and ensure relaxation of the left buttock, the right buttock, the small of the back, the spinal column, the right shoulder blade, the left shoulder blade, the area between the shoulder blades, the tops of the shoulders and back and sides of the neck, the back of the head, the right ear, the left ear, the right temple, the left temple.
Pause here and imagine that the feeling of relaxation that you are now experiencing is flowing through your temples into your mind. Feel your mind as being totally relaxed; totally at ease. Tell yourself that It is that way because of the relaxation flowing into it. Savor this experience for a little while and then move your consciousness to the top of your head, your forehead, your right eyebrow, left eyebrow, right eye, left eye, the nose, the nose tip, the upper lip, the lower lip,(at this juncture ensure that the bottom jaw is totally relaxed, with the teeth a barely touching it at all)… and then on to the chin, neck, right side of chest, left side of chest, abdomen and then… the right leg, the left leg, the right arm, the left arm, the trunk, the head, your whole body… your whole body…your whole body.
(This may sound complicated in the reading, but in practice, because the parts are in sequence, there is no difficulty in running the visualization from one part of the body to the next and so on. It is an old Yoga technique that has been practiced for thousands of years and it is its very simplicity that underpins it historical success).
By now you are probably feeling very relaxed… almost divorced from the real world. (If you do not, don’t be concerned. Simply go through the procedure again)
Now is the time to begin to visualize places of great contentment, beauty and peace that you have experienced during your lifetime. Perhaps a lake, or a beach, a forest, a running stream, a sunset, the glory of the stars. Feel the cold of the water or snow; feel the warmth of the noonday, smell the forest, smell the grasslands, listen to the insects, the call of the birds; see the sky, see the clouds…
Do this for what appears quite a long time… five or ten minutes. Then let your imagination rest. Just visualize nothing at all. Stay like this for as long as you can. You will feel totally at peace. You may even feel so peaceful and contented that you’d like to stay this was forever! Many people feel that way and are quite reluctant to return to a wakeful state. But all good things come to an end–even successful meditations and in meditation, it is easy to loose track of time. Some people set a quiet alarm that rings after about 45 minutes or an hour. You may want to do the same. Whatever, when it comes time to go back to the everyday, do so slowly. With your eyes still closed, raise your arms above your head and drop them down to your sides again. Move your bottom jaw. Move your legs and then slowly open your eyes. Wow! You’re back in the real world!
Follow this technique every day for at least half an hour–preferably an hour. You’ll be amazed at what it does for you. You’ll be more relaxed; more confident; more alive! The real world will become a much, much better place in which to be. Who knows, you may even take up yoga and reap even more rewards!
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Yoga [http://yoga-guideto.com/]