Banish Stress in 2018

by Carrie Stevens

Now that the holidays are over, chances are the workplace has returned to its chaotic pace. Avoid burning out and feeling overwhelmed with David Magone’s 15-minute meditation for relaxation sequence. “Body scanning meditations provide a great way to consciously relax when you’re stressed out,” says the founder of PranaVayu Yoga. “The exercise itself is relatively basic—you simply lay down in a comfortable position and methodically scan your entire body for areas of blockage or tension. When you find a spot that feels tense, you simply imagine the tension melting away until you actually feel the area softening.” Here’s how to start the year on a stress-free note.

Begin by coming to a comfortable reclining position. Lay down on your back with both eyes closed. Make sure your whole body is in alignment, your head is in line with the rest of your spine, and your arms and legs rest a comfortable distance away from your sides. If it’s uncomfortable to rest your head on the floor, cushion your head with a blanket or small pillow. Your palms can face either up or down. Try both and see which of the two works the best for you.

Once you have found a comfortable position, relax and let go. Cast your awareness to the crown of your head. Scan the crown of your head from the inside out. Mentally relax any areas of tension that you might encounter. Ask those areas to relax or imagine the tension melting and softening. Once you have relaxed your crown, scan downward from the crown of your head to the third eye (space in between your eyebrows) and the intervening space in between and in the front and back. Allow every space your gaze touches to become softer and more relaxed.

Then, reverse the process, ending with the crown of your head. At the end of the exercise, redirect your focus to the sound of your exhales for five minutes. Whenever your mind wanders elsewhere, mentally redirect awareness to your breath and begin all over again.

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