Whether you’re trying to fall asleep or just trying to ground yourself in the moment, doing a head-to-toe relaxation meditation is a great way to relax your body and mind, and take a few moments for yourself. A head-to-toe meditation relaxes every part of your body, and must be done slowly and deliberately. This process involves tightening your muscles, starting from your head and working your way down to your toes, releasing as you go. This form of relaxation can be thought of as visual relaxation imagery. We’re thinking of each part of our body as it tenses, and also imagining letting go of worrying thoughts or stressors as we relax.

We’ve outlined thehead-to-toe relaxation instructionsfor you below, but if you find something works better for you, there’s no right or wrong way to relax or meditate! The end result of this head-to-toe meditation, is your body and mind feeling lighter, and less stressed.

  1. Get into a comfortable position. You can sit or lie down.
  2. Close your eyes, if you feel comfortable doing so.
  3. Settle into the space you are in. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the weight of your body being supported by a chair or the ground. Notice any sounds, sensations or smells and just let them be.
  4. Starting at the top of your head, gently scan down your body and focus on relaxing it.
  5. Once you reach your toes, pause for a moment.
  6. Then, start the relaxation by tensing your toes – curl them up into your feet and hold them tight for 3-5 seconds. Release them. Take a deep breath and repeat for another 3-5 seconds.
  7. Next, tighten all your muscles from your feet up to your waist. Tense your calves, the area around your knees, your thighs and your bottom. Hold yourmuscles tense for 3-5 seconds, release, breathe and repeat.
  8. Now do the same thing with your stomach. Tighten your belly as much as you can and hold it for 3-5 seconds. Then release, breathe and repeat.
  9. Shift your attention to your chest and back area. Tighten and tense your muscles, hold for 3-5 seconds and release with a deep breath. Repeat this sequence.
  10. Raise your shoulders, hold for 3-5 seconds, then release and take a breath. Repeat.
  11. Shift your attention to your arms. Tense your biceps and forearms and hold for 3-5 seconds. Then release and take a deep breath and repeat.
  12. Now move to your hands. Tighten them into fists, hold for 3-5 seconds and release and breathe. Repeat this again.
  13. Now, tighten your neck by turning your head as far to the right as you can without feeling any discomfort and holding it for 3-5 seconds, then release and breathe. Repeat this one more time on each side.
  14. Finally, scrunch and tighten your whole face. As you release, let your jaw relax, the area around your eyes soften and your eyebrows release.
  15. Gently shift your attention back to your breath. Feel the weight of your body in your space. When you feel ready, slowly blink your eyes open. 

Now that you’ve completed thishead-to-toe meditation, don’t you feel calmer?Relaxationis one of the main goals of this exercise, and it’s amazing how a simple five-minute meditation like this one can improve how you feel for the rest of the day! If you’re interested in learning more relaxation and meditation techniques and their benefits, check out some other mindfulness practices here!