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Other Ways To Let Go - Part 4

Complete Yoga Breath
with Sound!

All Relaxation Links

Click images below for detailed instructions.


How To Achieve


Yoga Relaxation

Complete Yoga


Endless circles

How Stressed Out
Are you?


Fish Relaxation

Other Ways To
Relieve Stress


Good or bad stress

What is Good Stress?
What is Bad Stress?


Sleep Smarts

The Importance
of Sleep


Light being

Light Being

Eugenia Basilewsky in Shavasana The Fish Relaxation

This is the first position of the Fish Relaxation, which is the same as the Complete Yoga Relaxation in Part 2 of this series (link below or in images to the right). You will repeat that position here, but now you will add energy to it by moving into a stretching position and then relaxing every muscle in your body at once, instead of one at a time.

  • Begin by concentrating on your solar plexus (just where your ribcage ends in the center of your torso). Relax your entire body as you do this a few times.

The Second Movement

  • Now that you are more relaxed after breathing and focusing on your solar plexus, inhale into the Fish Relaxation movement (as Eugenia demonstrates in this image) as you visualize the Sun's energy streaming into your navel from all directions with all of its powerful life force.
  • As you begin this inhalation, lift both knees up slightly, press your heels into the floor with your toes pointed up and back, make a fist with your hands, and lift your forearms off the floor.
  • Keep your head and back straight until you let go of the position. This is important.
  • Feel the tension in your entire body and how every muscle is being stretched.
  • When you exhale, allow your body to collapse like a rag doll and return to Shavasana (Corpse pose, first position). In other words, let your arms drop of their own weight. Don't bring your arms and legs down. Let them fall to the floor, heavy and loose.
  • Allow your head to just roll to the side with your neck completely relaxed as you let your arms and legs fall back to the floor.

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Affirmations for Fish Relaxation

“With inhalation I gather all the energy into my solar plexus area, and with exhalation I release all tension from my body.”


Cavemen confronted enemies with a club to get their stress released. Your enemy may be fear or social disapproval, or of flunking an exam; it may be conflict with a partner or teacher, jealousy of a rival or smoldering anger over an insult. You cannot club these enemies, nor can you run—physically. If you are clever, you will turn the stress alarm reaction to your advantage in a different way.

According to Yogi Ramacharaka, the most important words are: “LET GO.” Bobby McFerrin's great song, “Don't Worry, Be Happy,” says it all! If you master the meaning of these words and are able to put them into practice, you have grasped the secret of the Yogi philosophy and practice of Yoga-Nidra.

“Thought takes form in action.”

Here's a favorite relaxation technique from Yogi Ramacharaka, slightly different from the one I have provided in Part 2 (and slightly edited to be better understood in today's language):

  • Lie down flat on your back. Relax as thoroughly as you can, letting go of all your muscles. Still relaxed, let your mind wander over your body from your head down to your toes.
  • As you do this, you will discover that certain muscles are still tense. Let go of those muscles, too. If you do this completely (you will improve by practice), you will eventually experience every muscle in your body fully relaxed and your entire nervous system at rest.
  • Take a few deep and long breaths, lying quietly and fully relaxed.
  • You may vary this exercise by gently rolling over to one side, and again relaxing completely. Then roll over to the other side and relax completely. This is not as easy as it appears at first, as you will realize once you have tried it. Do not be discouraged. Try it again until you master it. You will be glad that you did.
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  • While lying relaxed, imagine that you are lying on a soft, downy couch and that your body and limbs are as heavy as lead.
  • Repeat the words several times, slowly: “Heavy as lead, heavy as lead,” at the same time lifting your arms and then withdrawing the prana (life force; energy) from them by ceasing to contract the muscles, and allowing them to drop of their own weight to the sides. This is difficult for many people to do the first time. They are unable to let their arms drop of their own weight, so firmly has the habit of involuntary muscular contraction fastened itself upon them. (This is what I refer to in the Fish Relaxation above.)
  • After you have mastered the arms, try the legs, one at a time, then both together. Let them drop of their own weight and remain perfectly relaxed. Rest in between. This is not a strenuous exercise. The idea is to rest, as well as to acquire control over your muscles. Then lift your head and allow it to drop in the same way (obviously not so it bangs the floor!).
  • Then lie still and form the mental image of the couch, or floor, bearing the entire weight of your body. You may laugh at this idea, believing that when you lie down you always let the couch bear all of your weight—but you are mistaken. You will find that, in spite of yourself, you are trying to support a part of your weight by tensing some of your muscles. You are trying to hold yourself up. Stop this and let the couch hold you instead.
  • If this does not work for you, carry the mental image of being as limp as a wet cloth—limp all over from head to feet—lying loose and limp, without a trace of stiffness. A little practice will soon work wonders for you, and you will come out of this resting exercise more refreshed and feeling able to do your work without stress.

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