Whether sitting at a computer or moving from place to place, stress in the body can go unnoticed, until it shows up as a tight shoulder, sore neck or as lower back spasms.

Stress settles in the body for numerous reasons. One of the main reasons is due to the lack of blood and oxygen supply reaching primary nerve, muscle and organ groups.

This happens all too often because we are tensing and holding areas in the body longer than we should.

We often help to create tension and stress in the body without even being aware of it because we lose touch with our bodies during our busy day.

By mentally scanning the body from head to toe daily, you can loosen and replenish stifled body parts quickly.

Try this yoga-inspired, body-scan relaxation technique to release tension you may be holding.

Body Relaxation Scan Directions

Find a comfortable sitting or standing position. With eyes open and awareness, mentally scan each body part below and will it to soften. Breathe deeply and relax the area even more.

Head/face region
Scan and soften the crown of the head, forehead, eyes, lips, jaw and chin. Breathe deeply and relax the area even more.

Neck, shoulders and chest area
Scan and soften the front and back of the neck, the base of the neck, shoulders and chest region. Breathe deeply and relax each area even more.

Stomach, arms and hands
Scan and soften the abdomen, belly button, upper and lower arms, hands and fingers. Breathe deeply and relax each area even more.

Back, legs, thighs and feet
Scan and soften the legs, thighs, knees, feet and toes. Breathe deeply and relax each area even more.

–Kellye Davis is a lifestyle correspondent, seminar leader, certified yoga instructor and Level II Reiki healer. She is the author of The Bliss Principle: 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress, Vanguard, 2005. Learn more about her at www.kellyedavis.com.

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