Steps to Meditate & Relax
Steps to Meditation
In the beginning, it was a way to relieve stress. Now it’s a way of life. Vic Divecha took up meditation ten years ago as an engineering student at the University of Pune in India and today conducts free workshops throughout southeastern Michigan. An e-learning specialist at U-M and a member of the Sahaja Meditation community, Divecha offers these steps to get you started meditating:
- Find a quiet place. Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Rest your hands on your lap, palms up.
- Place your right hand, palm down, on top of your head and hold it there for 30 seconds or less. Focus your attention on the place where your hand is—this is the point of your connection to the universe. Your eyes may be open or closed.
- Place your right hand back on your lap or knee, palm up.
- Close your eyes. Continue sitting for five to ten minutes. Ignore the thoughts that surface in your mind, and try to expand and enjoy the silence that occurs between thoughts.
- 5. After you have sat still for as long as you like (but no longer than ten minutes), place your right hand, palm down, a couple of inches above your head. Now raise it several inches higher. See if you can feel a relaxing surge of energy flowing into your hand.
- Video demonstration of this technique:
Steps to Relaxation
In the 43 years she’s been studying, practicing, and teaching nontraditional approaches to stress management, Wasentha Young has learned to listen to what she calls the “dialogue between the mind, body, and spirit.” A program manager for the Visiting Partners Program in the SPH Department of Environmental Health Sciences and a certified master of both t’ai chi ch’uan and chi kung, Young teaches at the Peaceful Dragon School, which she founded in Ann Arbor in 1996. She suggests these techniques for lowering everyday stress:
- When you’re in the middle of a stressful situation, relax your feet, take a breath, and feel the connection of your feet to the ground. Curl your toes under your feet, take another deep breath, then relax your feet, and breathe again.
- Rejuvenate yourself at the start and end of your day’s work by mentally scanning your body for tensions from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. Imagine a space between your shoulders (remembering that space is the absence of tension), take a breath, and let go. Continue to do this with the lower back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Then work mentally back up to the top of your head and down the arms to your fingertips, pulling vital energy from the ground up through your body.
- Find moments throughout the day, especially when you’re by yourself, to do a little wiggle. Turn your waist gently, roll your shoulders, move your neck. Take a few breaths, and then resume whatever it was you were doing