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30 Days (at least) of Lying Relaxation


anteriorankle

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Last night I just did a mini one by myself without a recording. I went through some of the meeting points and did a quick body scan and some focusing on the breath. It was quite good.

Day 65

A decent one today. Distractions picked up with time as is typical. It was one of the recordings with a section where Kit gets you to search for wetness in the body, which always messes me up. I start to swallow even moreso than usual (which is already problem outside of this) and my breathing also got a bit more stressed/unnatural. Also, in that same section, when the focus was on heat in the body, I couldn't really locate it, which I think has happened before. Cold tends to be a lot easier for me to locate, but I think that is because the tingles I feel from relaxation emulate the feeling of being cold in my body, even though my body is warm (like how when you have the Flu, you will feel cold and shiver despite having an elevated temperature). I also did the sudden gasp at some point near the end. 

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Last night was pretty good from what I remember.

Day 67

A decent one. This recording started with Kit talking for quite a while before starting the practice, which I didn't realise and had already lain down, so by the time the practice started I was already quite relaxed. Unfortunately there were loud conversations outside my room at points during the practice which stressed me out as usual. I was also texted at some point and the alert made me jump a little and took me out of the relaxed state. In addition, the recording randomly cut out at a certain point and I think I just continued with an improvised one myself. Despite all the issues the session wasn't too bad.

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I can't remember last night. I think I did an improvised one but I'm not 100% sure. Either way I'm pretty sure it was cut a bit short by my brother coming into the room.

Day 68

I started the practice a lot later than I usually do was in a really bad mood leading into it. I didn't feel relaxed, could not focus at all and was having negative thoughts throughout. Nearer toward the end of the practice there was an instruction to let tension go from the face and after doing this I could relax a little more, which was quite interesting. I was still having some bad thoughts and struggling with focus but it definitely improved.

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I was quite agitated during last night's session because my headphone cables were touching my cheek. I was aware of how silly it was but this didn't change me feeling extremely bothered and uncomfortable.

Day 73

Like last night, I was quite agitated today and was struggling to shake it. It did get better with time and the session overall was not too bad, however, a poor sleep last night made staying awake quite a fight.

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Last night was pretty good.

Day 75

Today something really interesting happened. I've mentioned here before that my breathing can often be quite stressed and distracting during the practices. I also gasp at random times sometimes as though I'm not getting enough air and my body is desperate for more. The same thing happened today - breathing was a little stressed or just not as smooth as I'd like, but this time I tried to control it a little (or focus on it at the very least). I was trying to calm it down while knowing that trying to control it is what you want to avoid doing. I don't know exactly what I did, but at a certain point my breathing completely changed. It became calm, really slow and smooth. I was shocked while this was happening. At one point I think I was almost taking 10 second inhales and 10 second exhales, which is absolutely unheard of for me (normally the inhale stops after like 2 seconds or so). It was bizarre.

For the first time I could properly relate to Kit's mention of the breath slowing down in the practice and also to his story of him doing a lying relaxation once and breathing only twice a minute. I kept questioning if I was controlling it or if it was happening naturally, and I think it was happening naturally. At a few moments there were feelings of panic because of how slowly I was breathing and the sensation of needing to gasp to take in more air, but it never happened and for the most part the experience felt pleasant. It was a lot easier to track the breath too because my stomach was inflating so much and so slowly. It's as though normally I've been breathing to a quarter capacity or 4x the speed. There was also sometimes a pause between the inhales and exhales, which felt foreign and cool. In terms of physical relaxation, I felt good, but it wasn't as though I felt significantly better than previous sessions so this change of breathing may have been due to something other than a new depth of relaxation achieved.

I hope this continues in later sessions.

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I think last night was decent.

Day 76

I'm now focusing on my breath too much after what happened yesterday and it feels like I'm controlling the long breaths now, because at times it shifts back to my 'normal' fast breaths during certain sections/activities in the recording. It is difficult to describe properly but these breaths feel a bit distracting right now and difficult to 'turn off'. I guess one way to describe it is that I'm too conscious of the long breaths from yesterday as well as trying to let the breath do its own thing now and I think this is influencing the breath in a distracting and unnatural way. Outside of that though, the session was not bad.   

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I don't remember last night - I think it was okay.

Day 81

Was an okay one today. Quite a few distractions and I also did the gasp thing twice. As is typical, my breathing and swallowing became agitated when I was told to focus on the sensation of wetness in the body, which always gets me focusing on my saliva.

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Day 83

On hard ground today, which is always a different experience compared to when I do it on carpet. I was quite agitated by the sensation of one of the headphones in my ear and the way it was touching my face, which is not uncommon. All efforts to try and relax and not be bothered by it don't seem to help, which is frustrating, especially when I rationally know that I don't have to be agitated by something so small.

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Day 85

Another not good sleep last night which meant a lot of distractions and fighting to stay awake. From the start of the practice my heels hurt from them pressing into the hard floor. In time, they got better but over time the pressure of my head on the floor became more and more painful.

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12 hours ago, anteriorankle said:

From the start of the practice my heels hurt from them pressing into the hard floor. In time, they got better but over time the pressure of my head on the floor became more and more painful.

Is there a reason you're forcing yourself to lie directly on a hard floor? That's fine if it's comfortable, but that's clearly not the case for you. You want to make your lying relaxation as comfortable as possible. For me, personally, I can lie on a hard floor pretty comfortably, but I still like to put something under my head. Even a folded up shirt or something quite thin makes a big difference.

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4 hours ago, Nathan said:

Is there a reason you're forcing yourself to lie directly on a hard floor? That's fine if it's comfortable, but that's clearly not the case for you. You want to make your lying relaxation as comfortable as possible. For me, personally, I can lie on a hard floor pretty comfortably, but I still like to put something under my head. Even a folded up shirt or something quite thin makes a big difference.

There are quite a few reasons - some being laziness and the ease of just getting started without any additional equipment, others being that overall I seem to connect better with some sensations when on hard floor. I only do the practice on hard floor 2-4 times a week when staying at my partner's house so I see it as an opportunity to vary the practice up. In addition, I cannot rest in most positions on hard floor due to quite intense pain from any bony part touching the ground (for example, sitting cross-legged really hurts my ankles from the pressure of the bones on the ground, while everyone I know can do it with no issues) and since I'm 'mostly' comfortable while lying I thought it would be a good way to acclimate my heels to resting on hard floor.

However, maybe this isn't the best approach and I should try and prioritise as much comfort as possible going forward.

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16 hours ago, anteriorankle said:

I cannot rest in most positions on hard floor due to quite intense pain from any bony part touching the ground (for example, sitting cross-legged really hurts my ankles from the pressure of the bones on the ground, while everyone I know can do it with no issues) and since I'm 'mostly' comfortable while lying I thought it would be a good way to acclimate my heels to resting on hard floor.

However, maybe this isn't the best approach and I should try and prioritise as much comfort as possible going forward.

Absolutely.  I second Nathan's motion to view meditation as a place for comfort and relaxation.

Acclimating your body to become comfortable on hard surfaces is a most worthy pursuit.  But would be better done as "skill practise" separate to meditation.

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