- Lisa Roberts
Iron Out the Kinks
This week’s post features a mindfulness technique that I included in my recently posted Youtube videos themed around the Summer Olympics, but it is a wonderful technique to learn ANYTIME! We all have kinks in our bodies, little pockets of tension created as a result of posture and motor habits or simply hold on to stress without being aware.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a mindfulness technique that encourages one to systematically “visit” each area of the body and consciously release any tension from that area before moving along to the next. Not only does one feel relaxed during and after practicing this technique, but awareness of “hot spots” where tension is habitually stored in the body, can lead to a change in habits and ultimately, healing.
Of course, there are many fun ways to teach kids progressive relaxation techniques and you’ll find tons of creative ideas within the resources I’ve created and published: books, cds, blog, Youtube and social media posts. Explore them all and find what works best for you and your kids!
Lisa Roberts xoxo
Squeeze and Release
What is Squeeze and Release? Squeeze and Release is a progressive relaxation technique where one systematically contracts the muscles in the body before releasing and relaxing them.
How does it help? Squeeze and Release relaxes the entire physical body—especially areas where you may be holding tension—preparing the body for sleep, relaxation or rest. This is a great technique to use before going to bed.
· Begin in a comfortable position, lying on your back.
· Curl the toes on both feet and release – repeat several times.
· Flex and point the feet and then rotate the ankles – be sure to go in both directions.
· Resting the legs on the floor, flex the toes toward your nose – engaging the muscles in both legs. Relax and repeat several times.
· Hug the knees into the chest and squeeze them tight. Rock gently from side-to-side. Make small circles with the knees in both directions. Release and relax the legs along the floor.
· Stretch both arms overhead and point the toes away from the body, giving the entire body a stretch.
· Clench and release the fists of both hands several times. Relax the arms alongside torso and relax the feet, allowing them to fall open.
· Wrap arms across torso and give yourself a big hug, squeezing the shoulders. Release.
· Stretch the mouth open wide like a huge yawn. Release and repeat.
· Squeeze the eyes closed. Release and repeat.
· Hug the knees into the chest and squeeze them tight, tuck the chin toward the chest curling into a small ball and squeeze everything in as tight as possible – face, ears, eyes, toes – squeeze everything as tight as you can for a count of 1-2-3. And release.
· Allow the body to fully release onto the floor, imagine you are a huge puddle of water as you spread out on the floor, taking as much space as you need. Relax in this position for 5-10 minutes.
Ready to learn more?Check out the following webinars:
Reflective Meditation for Children
Targeted Wellness Support: Stress and Anxiety