Self Help

You can do this. It’s dead simple.

Find a firm but comfortable surface to lie on – some carpet, a rug on a floor or a blanket spread over a table.

Get yourself one or more paperback books to put under your head to create a firm support with the spines of the books away from your body. The height of books you require to help this process work will be somewhere between five and 10 centimetres. The idea is to establish a happy relationship between your head and your spine, i.e. not so high that your throat feels crushed, not so low that your head feels tipped back. If in doubt, err a little on the high side.

Put your back down gently onto the floor or table, your head on the books and draw your knees up so they point at the ceiling. Place your heels near your buttocks, not so close that your legs feel cramped, not so far away that you have to make an effort to hold your legs up. Feel free to wriggle and twist until you’re comfortable.

Now comes the tough bit. Stay awake if you can! Keep your eyes open and ask your head and your tail to keep a distance from each other. Ask for the length of your back and your front – the trick is to think about it but make NO effort to make it happen! Ask for the widening of your shoulders in the back and front. Always inhale through your nose; exhale however you please. Stay there for as long as you’re comfortable. 15-20 minutes is good. If you’re a busy person, promise yourself at least five minutes – you’ll soon get so comfortable you’ll want to stay there longer.

If you nod off and nap, it indicates you’re in need of more sleep, not the least bit uncommon. Gravity, even without the assistance of your consciousness, will make your body/habit release into length and width. You really can’t stop it happening. If you do nod off, you will wake yourself up when your legs flop to the side.

NB. Get up by rolling onto your side and proceeding into a crawl position, as if you had a stiff back. Don’t be surprised if your lower back does feel a bit stiff at the end of the process – the Vertebral Processes are moving apart and muscles are changing shape and function. Your sense of balance will feel a little unusual once you’re back on your feet. It’s normal and any light-headedness will quickly pass.

You will feel much improved and thank yourself for taking time out from your usual rush!