Progressive relaxation is a wonderful technique for releasing stress and anxiety in the body — by tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups. In YogaKids, we use the pose called Lemon Toes to help students experience progressive relaxation. It’s a great final pose right before Savasana!
Instructions: Lie on your back, or relax in a chair with your head on your desk. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Imagine that you are sipping sour lemonade through your toes, and sending it to every part of your body. Hold your breath as you curl and pucker your toes. Breathe out as you relax your toes. Work your way up the body, tensing and then relaxing your legs, then your belly, chest, shoulders, and arms; sip, pucker, breathe, and relax.
Make a sourpuss face. Wrinkle your nose. Squeeze your eyes shut. Grit your teeth and pucker your lips. Hold this facial squeeze for a few seconds, and then release. Finally, tighten your entire body all at once, and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Completely release. Relax.
Now you are ready for Savasana. It may be difficult, but try to clear your mind of all thoughts. Stay in Savasana for at least one minute — and build up to 10 minutes. Stay awake, but completely relaxed and peaceful.