The state of your physical body can have a significant effect on the level of mental relaxation you are able to achieve. If you’re experiencing pain in your body, it can be difficult to focus on anything else and can truly hamper the personal growth process.
Fortunately, the mind can be used as a tool to create a feeling of relaxation in the physical body. In turn, relaxing your body frees you to use your mind more efficiently to affect positive changes in your life.
Sometimes it is helpful to check in with your physical self and take note of how you are feeling. You may not even realize certain areas are tense until you bring your attention there. This technique is designed to help you pinpoint areas of tension and release the stress from those areas until your whole body feels deeply relaxed.
The Sand Bag Technique
Find a comfortable resting position in a place where you are not likely to be disturbed. Feel free to lie on the bed or floor, or to sit upright or recline in a chair.
After reading the rest of these instructions, you should practice this technique with your eyes closed for better results.
Slowly inhale through the nose, and exhale just as slowly.
Bring your attention to your physical body. How are you feeling? Is your body calm? Do you notice any areas of tension? Acknowledge these areas and begin.
Imagine your entire body as a heavy bag of sand. Now, visualize each part of your body is its own individual sand bag, tied tightly to keep it closed. The muscles in your feet are sandbags, and so are your calves, your thighs, and each area of your body.
Bring your attention to your left foot. Feel the heaviness of the sand in that sandbag that is your foot. It is so heavy you almost couldn’t lift it even if you wanted to.
Now, watch the sandbag untie itself. Watch as the sand slowly spills out until the bag is empty. Feel the weight of your foot change as the sand pours out of it slowly and smoothly. Feel every muscle in your foot relax and become weightless.
When all the sand has emptied out and your foot is completely relaxed, notice the difference in feeling between your left foot and your right foot. Notice how the left foot feels light and airy while the right foot feels heavy and weighed down.
Sense the difference between that lightness of your left foot and the heaviness of the rest of your body.
Bring your attention up to the calf of your left leg and repeat this visualization. Watch the sandbag of your left calf untie itself and allow the sand to gently flow out of it until it is completely empty.
Repeat this process for each section of your body. Don’t leave anything out. The more muscles you visualize releasing the sand from in this way, the more relaxed your physical body will become.
By the time you finish practicing this technique, you’ll feel peaceful and relaxed in both body and mind.