Yesterday in post #78, I spoke about real relaxation, which allows us to relax on a deeper level than the usual types of things that we do for relaxation like reading or watching TV. To get the most out of any activity including relaxing we must engage our awareness. When I see people reading a book at the gym while using the elliptical machine I know that they are not getting the same results as they would if they were singularly focused on the exercise. Usually people feel bored with their exercise so they read instead of focusing on the activity. Pick an exercise that you enjoy if you want to get better results because anything that distracts you will dilute the effectiveness of whatever else you are doing. Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone and reading something on your computer at the same time? A consciously aware person on the other end will feel your disconnect and may even ask you what you are doing. The next time you find yourself doing two things at once try just one of them at a time and give it your full attention and keen awareness to see if you can feel the difference for yourself.
Body Scanning is a simple tool that can help you become more connected to your body and allow you to reach deeper levels of relaxation by being consciously involved in the process. I call this being passively active. You can also use this during your regular meditation practice if appropriate or as a separate meditation to develop a more intimate relationship with your body. Regular practice is the key and will help you develop a more awakened awareness; you will be able to sense deeper layers of tension that you can release. Remember as I said yesterday no matter how relaxed you think you are you can always relax to a deeper place. Your mind will try to tell you that you are doing it wrong or it is not working but if you follow my directions and practice regularly, it will work. Be kind to yourself and your body for maximum results. Tomorrow I will share the practice, if you have not read post #78 yet please read it before continuing on to #80 so that you have better understanding and foundation for beginning the practice.