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Nathan

ST Teachers: Lying Relaxation in Classes

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I didn't see any topics on this, so here I go!

I am curious how many of the ST teachers out there implement lying relaxation sessions in their ST classes. For those who do, how do you go about this? Do you use Kit's recordings? Or do you guide the sessions yourself?

I am particularly interested in responses from those teaching in languages other than English. (@MarkusO? Anyone else?) Do you guide in the foreign language using a translation/mimicking Kit's script? Or do you freestyle it?

A larger question for @Kit_L is: Is there a reason we should or should not guide lying relaxation sessions not using a script? Part of me says that if the participants relax, then they are benefiting and that is what matters. Another part of me wonders if there should be some kind of qualification (to be able to move away from the scripts) - a consistent personal practice spanning months/years and/or a solid understanding of the different techniques you use in your sessions, for example. Also, how about an "Implementing DWB" track in future teacher trainings? :)

Thanks all!

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6 hours ago, Nathan said:

I am particularly interested in responses from those teaching in languages other than English. (@MarkusO? Anyone else?) Do you guide in the foreign language using a translation/mimicking Kit's script? Or do you freestyle it?

Hallo :-) I haven't done it myself yet but I am planning to. I will not freestyle it, especially in the beginning. I will use the script from ONBP as a general guideline and go from there. More importantly I have to work on a calm voice!

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1 hour ago, MarkusO said:

Hallo :-) I haven't done it myself yet but I am planning to. I will not freestyle it, especially in the beginning. I will use the script from ONBP as a general guideline and go from there. More importantly I have to work on a calm voice!

Thanks for the response! I am sure I will work from Kit's scripts as well, but I was curious what others are doing. And yes, calm voice, with the occasional stern "do not sleep" :lol:

Would love to hear how it goes once you begin!

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Not a teacher, but I did a couple of session for my father, a couple of years back. I went “freestyle“, using more or less the same cues Kit uses in the recordings. Worked like a charm.

At the ST workshop Kit planned the lying relaxation at the end of the day, but personally I find yoga nidra quite effective when done prior stretching. My body is already primed to let go.

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4 hours ago, jaja said:

Not a teacher, but I did a couple of session for my father, a couple of years back. I went “freestyle“, using more or less the same cues Kit uses in the recordings. Worked like a charm.

That's good to know! I think the natural progression (for me) will be to shift toward a more freestyle approach after working from the scripts for a while and getting used to the format.

4 hours ago, jaja said:

At the ST workshop Kit planned the lying relaxation at the end of the day, but personally I find yoga nidra quite effective when done prior stretching. My body is already primed to let go.

I think there are pros and cons to both. Doing it before helps prepare the mind/body for letting go and relaxing into stretches, but stretches help prepare the body to be comfortable in the position and really allow for deep relaxation. I suppose ideally you might do both. Perhaps a quick 5-10 minute "reset" to switch into relax mode before, then a good stretch session, and a longer 15-30 minutes lying relaxation following to really experience and enjoy deep relaxation. Then again, it depends on the individual needs too!

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I did prepare a short presentation on the elements of the lying relaxations; I will find and reprint here. Elements can be mixed and matched. For the students' benefit, the beginning and end of each session is best made the same. This is only to create the habit more quickly; in time, the scripts can be anything you like. Voice tone is a critical aspect.

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14 minutes ago, Kit_L said:

I did prepare a short presentation on the elements of the lying relaxations; I will find and reprint here.

Excellent - would be very grateful! Thank you for the other points, too. I suppose recording myself and using the audios personally would probably be a great way to find a good tone.

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Thank you. This is gold.

5 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Name parts of the body

This is one of my favorites. I feel I can reach that sense of deep relaxation quickest and most reliably with this.

5 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Create sensations in the body

I also very much enjoyed the Govinda recording that used this. I believe it asked to find the areas of the body experiencing the sensations, rather than to create/bring them out. (Perhaps not so different!)

5 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Please add any I have missed

Off the top of my head, I only noticed counting the breaths and starting over when the mind wanders. I will come back if I think of any others.

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Another tip for deepening the tone of my voice is to use a Neti Pot, daily, to flush out my sinus cavities. As a female, I can make my voice a lot more soothing with a clear head. It feels like the sound can resonate in my cranial cavities. Please let me know if anyone else has experienced this. 

If my class has a rambunctious energy, I’ll do a five minute relaxation at the beginning to bring focus and internal awareness to the fore. I also use activities like rubbing circles with the thumb to each finger tip, and vice versa. Notice the quality of the skin, hot/cold, moist/dry, rough/smooth etcetera. Getting the little finger to draw the circle on a stationary thumb is tricky! I got Dave Wardman to do it once and he said “That’s a mind fuck Cher!”

Olivia’s directed breathing, lying supine with hands on chest and tummy, is another nice way to get people to relax and become aware of their breathing and body sensations. 

Thanks for this thread guys!

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1 hour ago, Cherie Seeto said:

Another tip for deepening the tone of my voice is to use a Neti Pot, daily, to flush out my sinus cavities. As a female, I can make my voice a lot more soothing with a clear head. It feels like the sound can resonate in my cranial cavities. Please let me know if anyone else has experienced this. 

I'm sure it's the same for males too! It makes sense that having clear sinuses would make your voice more resonant, depending on how you project. I suppose things like posture, etc. could also have a significant effect. I guess it's time to give that Neti pot a go :)

1 hour ago, Cherie Seeto said:

If my class has a rambunctious energy, I’ll do a five minute relaxation at the beginning to bring focus and internal awareness to the fore. I also use activities like rubbing circles with the thumb to each finger tip, and vice versa. Notice the quality of the skin, hot/cold, moist/dry, rough/smooth etcetera. Getting the little finger to draw the circle on a stationary thumb is tricky! I got Dave Wardman to do it once and he said “That’s a mind fuck Cher!”

Yes, I liked your suggestion of starting class with a quick relaxation. I like the thumb idea too. That's high praise, coming from Dave :lol:

1 hour ago, Cherie Seeto said:

Olivia’s directed breathing, lying supine with hands on chest and tummy, is another nice way to get people to relax and become aware of their breathing and body sensations. 

Thanks for this thread guys!

Agreed! And thank you for sharing!

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4 hours ago, Nathan said:

I'm sure it's the same for males too! It makes sense that having clear sinuses would make your voice more resonant, depending on how you project. I suppose things like posture, etc. could also have a significant effect. I guess it's time to give that Neti pot a go :)

I'm sure you're way suppler than me, so maybe it's not necessary, but I've found a diaphragm release has an impact on my voice tone. Same if I can get a lot of tension out the HF. Muscular tension squeezes the voice.

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2 hours ago, jaja said:

I'm sure you're way suppler than me, so maybe it's not necessary, but I've found a diaphragm release has an impact on my voice tone. Same if I can get a lot of tension out the HF. Muscular tension squeezes the voice.

Yes, good point! I hold a ton of tension in my abs/diaphragm. Kit once did the diaphragm release on me and my life flashed before my eyes :lol: I should really work on that, because I know it will take time to really let go of that tension. HF are doing pretty well, though, thankfully :) 

By the way, since you're (at least) bilingual you will probably know this, but the way we present ourselves (including out voices) is largely affected by the language we speak. My voice tends to be higher when I speak Japanese. Have you noticed a difference between your English voice and your Italian voice?

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I haven't actually paid much attention to the way my voice sound, but I think I might be a little bit louder when I speaking Italian. The funny thing is I'm more outgoing when speaking English.

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I got my BIG voice learning to be a Futures Commodities Trader. Getting whacked in the back to prompt me to shout was a baptism of fire in voice projection. You can’t trade if no one can hear you in the trading  pit. 

The diaphragm definitely benefits from releasing the HF. 

The tones you use to soothe a baby are also wonderful for relaxation scripts. Do you agree Nathan?

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12 hours ago, Cherie Seeto said:

The tones you use to soothe a baby are also wonderful for relaxation scripts. Do you agree Nathan?

I don't know - I only scream at Kenji :lol: Kidding, of course. I hadn't really thought about it, but I am sure you're right!

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Thank you Kit for posting such a detailed commentary.

I started teaching before there were many scripts available through ST: I found some basics on the web and have adapted them over time. The final relaxation of the class has 5 phases: 1. Body position, alignment, feel the floor, focus on breath etc (same wording each time, for ritual reasons). 2. Progressive relaxation (I use 4 different scripts, and cycle between them). 3. Deepening the relaxation by guided visualisation (not sure how these work for non-visual people though). I have 12 basic scripts* which I cycle between (originally found on the web and in books, plus a few I have devised myself), and adjust each one on the fly depending on how I am feeling. 4. Affirmations, in some classes. 5. Final phase of continued relaxation, followed by gradual bringing out of deep relaxation (same each time, again for ritual reasons), and a clear signal that the session is over.

(* which are gradually replaced over time.)

to some extent these are the techniques used in hypnosis, though I do not use the progressive levels of deepening that hypnotists use. This also avoids the problem that people might drive home still under hypnosis.
I am not sure from earlier comments about how much guidance is given in breathing. One thing my yoga teacher (Ailsa Gartenstein) was very emphatic on, was not to give too much guidance of the exact timings - people prefer establish their own rhythm to your general instructions.

Jim.

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Just found an interesting video on YouTube about lowering the pitch of your voice. All this guy did was stretching the neck and learn how to breath deeply (plus some practice, of course). The difference is amazing, considering that this guy used to be a girl and in this video he isn't on Testosterone.

 

I'm very interested in the topic because when I'm able to free my breathing process from excessive tension, my pitch lowers substantially. I hope you'll find this interesting as well.

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On 12/5/2018 at 7:11 AM, jaja said:

I'm very interested in the topic because when I'm able to free my breathing process from excessive tension, my pitch lowers substantially. I hope you'll find this interesting as well.

Thanks for sharing. It's a funny coincidence, because lately I always do some vocal projection after my neck stretching just to see how my voice has been affected. Honestly, it's less of a difference than I thought it might be considering how tight the front of my neck is. Now, if I could manage to release/relax my diaphragm then things might be different :lol:

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