Welcome to day 20 of our 30 day’s of yoga support during this challenging time!
Today we’ll be exploring a powerful stress management practice, called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).
This simple technique involves the tensing and relaxing of all of the muscles in your body in a sequential order. By tensing your muscles before relaxing them, you enable yourself to relax them more thoroughly after you release, letting go of physical and mental tension more effectively.
Dr. Herbert Benson is a pioneer in mind body medicine and was one of the first doctors in the 60’s and 70’s to bring alternative stress management techniques, including progressive relaxation, into the medical arena. Research shows that through this technique, as we move tension through the body with the ultimate goal of relaxation, we also release psychological tension and stress, minimizing our stress reactivity and decreasing our experience of chronic stress. Trying these practices can help to support many chronic health problems that are caused or exacerbated by stress, which I think we can safely say stress plays a role in all of our health concerns.
We can also let go of those old wounds, the stories we’re still carrying that no longer serve us.
Did you know that through a daily practice of stress release and management, we build our reserves? We give our nervous systems a chance to re-calibrate and integrate the experiences of our lives, rather than overloading our bodies and our minds. We also give ourselves an invitation to return to a state of equilibrium on a daily basis through our practice.
Today we’ll be moving through a shortened version, but you can take up to 30 minutes slowly moving through each part of your body separately and then finishing with a few rounds of full body tension followed by complete relaxation. You want to make sure you give yourself at least 5 – 10 minutes to rest in the final relaxation state, inviting your awareness to follow the flow of breath, dropping deeper into a restorative place where you heal from.
With regular relaxation breaks, over time your whole self will feel lighter, more easeful and more at home in yourself.
I would like to send out a special message to all the people at Country Haven today, I know we have lost more members of our community. My heart is with all the families who have lost their loved ones at Country Haven. My heart is with all the workers that are navigating this scary time. My heart is with all those we have lost during this virus, sending them love on their journey, praying no more lives will be taken.
Thank you for joining me today, it is an honor to be with you on this journey.
You are so very loved, and cherished.
Thank you also to my husband, Jay Young, for the beautiful musical accompaniment in yesterday, and today’s videos, a little extra hug holding you in your practice.
Much love, Amber