Mid-week relaxation

For your mid-week relaxation: try these relaxation exercises from Lorraine Plum’s Flights of Fancy. For the best results, follow the instructions below and then play the tracks from the record.

Please be advised that those with past experiences of alien abduction may wish to skip the track titled “Unknown Planet” as it may trigger uncomfortable flashbacks.

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BEGIN EACH FANTASY with a relaxation experience. Read these instructions slowly in a soothing, restful tone of voice, pausing a few seconds between each step.

1. Find a comfortable position either sitting upright or lying down.
If you’re sitting, sit with your back straight but not rigid and keep your head, neck and chest straight. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your hands palms down on your thighs.

If you’re lying down, lie on your back with your arms extended on the floor about six inches from your body and your palms facing the ceiling. Keep your legs flat and turned slightly apart.

Move around a little until you are comfortable, then be still.

2. Close your eyes. Keep them closed until I tell you when to open them.

(Read steps 3-8 and/or 9-12)

3. Stretch your right leg out in front of you and tighten all the muscles in your leg — really tight — tighter — relax — let go of the tension. Notice what relaxing feels lie.

4. Repeat with your left leg.

5. Make a fist with your right hand and tighten all the muscles in that arm — really tight — tighter — tighter — now relax. Let the tension melt away.

6. Repeat with your left arm.

7. Life your shoulder upward toward your ears. Tighten all of the muscles in your shoulders and neck — really tight — tighter — tighter yet — now relax. Notice what letting go of tension feels like.

8. Tense all the muscles in your face by squinting your eyes, wrinkling your nose and tensing your tongue — really tight — tighter — tighter yet — now, relax. Feel all the tension and strain flow from your face.

9. Place your right and on your stomach. Take slow full breaths through your nose and feel the rise and fall of your stomach as you breathe. When you inhale, you bring air into your body and your stomach rises. When you exhale, you breathe air out of your body and your stomach falls.

10. Inhale and exhale slowly — try breathing without any pauses or jerks between your inhalations and exhalations.

11. Place your left hand on your chest. If you’re breathing in a deep, relaxed way, you will feel very little movement in your chest. Most of the movement is in your stomach. Breathe very naturally and smoothly.

12. Imagine that with every breath you take, you’re becoming more relaxed.

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