In an increasingly busy world with more digital stimulation than ever before, good sleep can be harder to come by.
The following routine is designed to ensure a more restful and refreshing night's sleep.
It contains two parts: a self-massage technique and a simple meditation.
This practice helps close one day and get ready to recharge for the next by gently nourishing your body and brain.
First, is the massage:
The purpose of facial massage is to circulate the blood, invigorate the openings, and refresh your mind. By performing this massage you will combat the effects of aging, reducing wrinkles and helping your skin retain elasticity and glow. Simple and effective is the name of the game. Let's go.
Start by tapping your head with your fingertips all around, similar to the pummeling exercise, but be very gentle here.
Additionally, place your hands firmly on your scalp and move your scalp over your skull, bringing circulation to the top of your head.
Tap especially the crown of your head and the mid point of your forehead. This will help circulate blood to your glandular areas inside the brain.
Ear Drum Massage
Next step, place both palms over your ears and lay your fingers on your skull so that they're pointing to the back of your head with thumbs on your neck, middle and index fingers at the base of your skull.
Rhythmically tap your index and middle fingers on your skull. This massage targets your eardrums and will leave you with an amazing sense of peace.
Tap 24 times and when you remove your hands from your head, feel the sensations and peace the massage creates.
*This practice specifically has been really impactful to all of my in-person clients from energetic school children to stressed out executives. It provides an undeniably deep sense of serenity that can be described as “stopping the world”, and you will be able to experience the feeling of a quiet mind - a revelation for almost everyone.
Eye Socket Massage
This massage prevents wrinkles from forming around your eyes and also brings blood to them, helping to enliven them.
Warm up by blinking rapidly for a few moments. Next, use your thumbs and trace your eye sockets, searching for the indentations or grooves present around them. When you come across these grooves, press into them for a few seconds each. Light pressure, always in the spirit of comfortable activity.
When you have worked your way around the top and bottom simultaneously, perform the blinking again, and rub your eyes gently after.
This massage helps keep the nasal passages clear.
Press your index fingers on either side of your nostrils and place pressure similar to the last exercise, for a few seconds.
Repeat at the bridge of your nose.
Repeat at the space where your nose meets your eyebrows.
This massage prevents wrinkles by increasing circulation and relaxing the muscles around your mouth.
Press your index and middle fingers on your upper lip. Start from the point below you nose and move in succession outward. Follow the curve of your mouth and work your way around, ending at the midpoint beneath your lower lip. Here you are pressing your mouth into your gums, benefitting both areas.
Next, swirl your tongue around your mouth. Trace the outside of your teeth and go 8 times each way.
Finally, click your teeth together gently 24 times.
Feel the energy building inside your mouth like a subtle vibration.
Swallow this energy into your digestive tract and let it energize your system.
Smile about it.
Use your right hand placing your thumb and side of your index finger on either sides of your throat. Gently pressure and massage both sides simultaneously and move the massage downwards to your collarbone level.
This helps keep your throat open and healthy and your voice strong and resonant.
Next, we have the simple meditation:
Hearing the Heart
Inspiration for this technique comes from observing newborns breathe.
A baby's breathing is basically silent and deep.
When a baby breathes, their belly rises and falls.
For most adults, breathing deeply means your shoulders will rise and chest expands, but for this exercise you will breathe into your belly.
This often takes a bit of practice, and the best way to help you breathe deeply is to imagine breathing through your heels.
It may be helpful to place your right hand over your belly to feel the air enter and exit the deepest parts of your lungs.
When performing deep breathing, listen to your breath and adjust accordingly.
The louder it is the rougher it is, and vice versa.
When you arrive at a point where your breath is silent, listen for your heart beat.
If you continue to breathe slowly, gently, and deeply, you will eventually lose the sound of your heart beat.
Do not be alarmed.
Your heart is still beating, just like you are still breathing, but more than anything, you are still.
Notice this space you are in and what sensations or perceptions appear and disappear, what insights come and go, and how you feel after the experience.
This exercise has major benefits for both body and brain as you are thoroughly oxygenating your system, and also experiencing progressive relaxation.
There is much to learn from deep relaxation and stillness, and these states are extremely valued experiences in yogic traditions across space and time.