This is a modified session of pendulum breathing. Repeat a simple mantra, ‘My breathing is calm and regular, with each swing of the pendulum.
Some Group 1 people find that they prefer to rerun the whole autogenic programme on Day Six, focusing on the heavy limb routine (Day One), Yoga Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana Pose then the feel-warm routine (Day Four), followed by the regime described above. The completely inward-looking autogenic component contrasts well with the yoga poses and the two seem to work well together in bringing about the relaxation response.
You are now deeply into your self-selected relaxation programme and well on the way to learning the basic relaxation techniques. At the heart of it all is, of course, the even pendulum type of breathing. If you are in any doubt over the technique reread Day Two, for without pendulum breathing the relaxation response is very difficult to experience.
By now you will have realized that we are using relaxation techniques as a trigger process that programmes your whole being towards the state of natural relaxation – the very opposite to the get up and go feeling. Both of these body states are entirely normal, natural and necessary. The pace of life in the latter part of the 20th century, however, has deemed it necessary for most of us to have to relearn how to relax.
At this stage of the 10-day plan you will probably be getting to know which of the very varied relaxation techniques suits you best, and for the rest of the time you will be refining your self-selected course to meet your needs. Although you should always concentrate on the areas that you have experienced difficulty with during your training, because we are all so different you should also consider rejecting unhelpful exercises. If it seems that your group does not suit you in one area, then by all means stray into another one. Something there may build itself into your own pattern of relaxation.
Again I stress that it is important at this stage actively to select and refine, as well as to try to master the more difficult areas. Remember that for relaxation to be of lifelong use to you, you have got to take unto yourself a quick and efficient technique that you can turn to – and switch on, as it were – at the drop of a hat whenever stress and tension start to disturb you. At the moment you are still learning, so half an hour once or twice a day is necessary to establish a pattern. As you proceed you may find that one particular exercise or technique may ‘turn you on’ as far as the relaxation response is concerned. If it does, that’s fine. Return to it. It is the key for you.