I find this meditation especially helpful for easing tight muscles. This is one of the only meditations for which I recommend lying on a comfortable bed. This meditation is done lying down, but is actually a moving meditation. It involves very gently relaxing and stretching the muscles. Massage is actually smply stretching the muscles nad this exercise can be just as relaxing as a good massage. Although you may think you hold tension in a certain area of your body, you may be surprised to find it elsewhere as well. This is because we tend to "guard" our pain. We tense the muscles around pain, and they become painful and tense, so we tense more muscles around the pain which become tense and so on. Treating your whole body for sore muscles is more effective way of managing the pain.
Find a few minutes of the day which are quiet and without interruption. Late at night works well for this exercise. Music is entirely optional, and should be calming. You can dim the lights if you wish. This technique, like other meditations, improves with practice. Each time you practice, you will find it easier to remember how to relax your muscles.
1. Lie comfortably on your back, using pillows to prop your head or knees if necessary. (This works best without pillows). Take a deep breath and as you release it allow your body to sink further into your mattress. With a second deep breath in, gather your distracting thoughts and allow them to flow out as you breath out. With your third deep breath sink into your supportive mattress...which is connected to your solid bed...which is connected to the solid floor...which is connected to the solid building with foundations deep in the solid earth.
2. Take a few moments to observe where your tension lies, Remember to breathe in and out in a calm and relaxed manner. Now, taking a deep breath in begin to flex and stretch the muscles. (If you have tension in your back you can start by rolling your shoulders). When you begin, allow the muscles to flow. Go where they go and allow them to move and roll, stretch and return. As you breathe in and out very gently your body will ebb and flow. Let go. Allow your body to move continuously in and out, up and down, breathing very gently. You begin with one muscle....which is connected to another and another and another...flowing, in and out up and down, to the next muscle...and the next....and back again until your whole body is relaxed....continue until the tension has gone....stretching gently as you go....and lie back and breathe...resting in your relaxed state...let it sink in...reconnect with your solid bed connected to the solid building connected to the solid earth.....
3. Get up slowly from this meditation. And drink plenty of water. Repeat this exercise as often as necessary.