Sinking in Sand
Center yourself before leading others in a guided relaxation.
Each time you use your talent and abilities to guide clients in a scripted relaxation, you harness the power and privilege of being an agent of change. You are in a position to help alter clients’ days—and lives—for the better. Before you start any relaxation session, reflect on the following simple but critical tips. They will help you lead others so they get maximum benefit. You will also benefit—from a poised, clear approach that ushers peace into the room.
Be Confident. If you find yourself
being self-conscious, take a moment to listen to yourself and to breathe deeply. When you speak, don’t just say the words, but mean what you say; sense each syllable. Own your words, and you will find yourself relaxing. When you are relaxed, your clients will also relax.
Be Empowered. Your clients look to you for guidance. Take pride in knowing that you can help change their daily outlook. You have a hand in teaching them how to use relaxation techniques in their lives, so check in to see how clients are
applying your lessons. People have their own inner edition of what you say. Choose words that resonate with them.
Teach the Importance of Breath. When people understand the significance of each breath, they remember to keep breathing. Teach the significance of breathing by using a metaphor; for example, a car: gas in, fumes out. “Your body is like a car and needs the constant energy of oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.”
Open Yourself to the Moment. If you are fully in the moment, transitions will come to you naturally and participants will benefit. If you are preoccupied with the next move, your class will not get your best value as a teacher.
“Lie down and close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose and out through an open throat. As you breathe in, relax your nostrils and imagine they are like two straws. Allow oxygen to flow in. As you breathe out, visualize your body releasing carbon dioxide. Fully fill your lungs with oxygen for 6 counts, then release the breath in 6 counts. Focus on breathing in and breathing out. Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, in; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, out.
“Now feel that your head is heavy as if you were lying in sand. Let your head slowly sink . . . falling . . . falling . . . falling. Allow your eyebrows to relax; now your mouth relaxes while you breathe in and out. Your mind is on a train, and the thoughts are passing stations. Don’t get stuck in a station for too long. Focus on breathing in and out. If you find yourself thinking too much or worrying, take a deep breath in, hold it and then let the air out while releasing that thought. Continue doing this until your mind is calm.
“Let your head drop to the right. Feel the neck stretch on the left; repeat on the other side. Lie very still and feel yourself releasing any tension in your shoulders. Tense your shoulders, then relax them. Notice the contrast between the two conditions. Progressively follow your body internally as you allow your abdominal muscles to relax (if you find that hard, first tighten the muscles to feel the contrast). Keep your breathing fluid. Feel your thighs drop deeper into the sand; they are so heavy you can’t even hold them any longer. Your knees and calf muscles relax, and now your feet limply slide into the sand.
“Take a deep breath and own this
totally relaxed feeling. Take another deep breath, and as you breathe out, say, “Aaaahhhh.” Repeat this six times. Return to normal breathing, and take a moment to recognize how you feel right now, so that later in the day, when you need to mirror this feeling, you will remember it and allow yourself to relax. Congratulate yourself for taking the time to unwind and become centered, focused, calm and more in tune with yourself.”