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Fundamentals of Systematic Relaxation

Learning to consciously relax—what yogis call “systematic relaxation”—is a powerful self-help tool. Relaxation helps us in daily life by releasing built-up physical and mental tension; it also supports spiritual practice by training us to calm and turn inward. Start here: begin quieting the outside noise so you can connect to your deeper self.

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Relaxation Practices

Tension-Release Relaxation

New to systematic relaxation? The Tension-Release Relaxation method is the perfect place to start for newbies or those who have difficulty concentrating. This technique trains the mind to recognize the opposing sensations of muscle tension and muscle release. It re-awakens your awareness of physical tension, which over time leads to deeper relaxations and greater ease.

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Point to Point Relaxation

Looking to freshen up your relaxation practice? Try Point to Point Relaxation. This practice combines mental focus and breath awareness as you breathe into different areas of the body. This “sweeping breath” reduces feelings of stuckness, enhances the flow of pranic energy, and trains the body and nervous system to relax in a deeper way.

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Guided Muscle Relaxation

Learn to cultivate and enhance the flow of pranic energy in your body! Guided Muscle Relaxation trains the mind to focus awareness on different muscle groups, engendering a relaxation response in each area. When you begin refining this awareness, prana will flow more smoothly, leading to less physical and mental stress and renewed vitality.

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61 Point Relaxation

The goal of 61 Point Relaxation—a specialty of the Himalayan Tradition—is profound rest for the body and nervous system. Your mind is led to rest in 61 internal points that correspond to energy- and nerve-rich areas in the body (marma points). With practice, you’ll start to experience richer, more subtle relaxation as you recharge your vital energy.

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About the Teacher

Sarah Guglielmi

Sarah Guglielmi is a professional educator and clinician in the fields of yoga, meditation, and ayurveda. She was initially drawn to yoga over 15 years ago, while working as a product development engineer, and looking for relief from chronic stress and illness. Sarah has not only regained her health, but discovered a deeper dimension to life she finds rich and inspiring. Her overarching intention is to make the therapeutic power of yoga and ayurveda accessible and transformative for her students and clients. Sarah has served on the faculty of the Himalayan Institute and Yoga International for the past 10 years and has taught numerous workshops on yoga, yoga philosophy, subtle yoga energetics, meditation, stress management, yoga therapeutics, and ayurvedic lifestyle. She travels nationally as a teacher trainer for the Himalayan Institute's Yoga and Ayurveda Professional Certification Programs. After completing her 200-hour teacher training with the Himalayan Institute in 2002, she lived in residence for 10 years at its Pennsylvania headquarters, where she studied directly with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Sandra Anderson, Shari Friedrichsen, Rod Stryker, Kathryn Templeton, Dr. Carrie Demers, Mary Cardinal, and Dr. Rosy Mann. Since then, she has completed her certification as an Ayurvedic Health Councelor (AHC). She is deeply grateful for the authentic and masterful training she continues to receive from this profound lineage. Prior to joining the Himalayan Institute, Sarah was an engineer with W. L. Gore and Associates, and holds a master's degree in materials engineering from the University of Delaware. She currently resides in Buffalo, NY, where she serves on the staff of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo and as an adjunct faculty member of Daemen College.

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