Relaxation: PMR | Yoga Nidra
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) and Yoga Nidra are two powerful relaxation practices that can be practiced on their own, or as preliminaries to meditation.
Practiced sitting or lying down, guided relaxation supports a shift from a biological stress response to the relaxation response.
As we release physical tension, a comforting heaviness of body and sense of calm begins to develop. Special attention to breath enhances the relaxation. As breathing slows, we experience an inner stillness.
As body and mind continue to release and relax, a sense of deep comfort and ease arises - effortless, spacious...
Meditation: Mindfulness | Compassion
Mindfulness and Compassion are two categories of meditation within the broad range of practices available.
Mindfulness is a foundation practice that helps gather and calm the non-stop, chattering mind. Practiced sitting, moving, or lying down, we rest our attention lightly on an object of focus - sound, breath, an inspiring image, nature... awareness itself. When we become distracted, the moment we notice, we return our attention and refocus - gently, non-judgmentally.
Compassion soothes mind and emotions, whilst developing a sense of safety and connection. Of the many practices, scientific research* confirms an array of benefits from Loving-Kindness meditation - from enhanced self acceptance and courage, to relief from physical and mental illness.
* Frederickson et al (2008); Hoge et al (2013); Kok et al (2013); Kearney et al (2013); Shahar et al (2014); Tonelli et al (2014)