In the last post I wrote about stage fright and how certain relaxation exercises can help. Relaxation techniques and meditation are also very good for improving focus, concentration and the ability to remember, for example, a lot of choreography. For this reason, I will gradually introduce individual relaxation techniques over the next few months. Today we start with what is known as progressive muscle relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation technique developed by the American physician and physiologist Edmund Jacobson. It is an effective way to relieve physical tension and relieve stress.
PMR involves consciously tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups in the body to achieve a feeling of relaxation and calm. During the exercise, each muscle group is contracted for about 5-10 seconds before releasing the tension for 10-15 seconds. The exercise then moves to the next muscle group until the whole body is up.
Typically, PMR starts at the toes and then slowly works up to the head, tensing and relaxing each muscle group individually. Breathe slowly and consciously during the practice, focusing on the sensations in the body.
The effects of PMR can be very diverse and can vary from person to person. Some of the most well-known benefits of PME are:
1. Reduction of physical and mental tension and stress.
2. Improve sleep quality.
3. Reduction of pain, especially muscular pain.
4. Improving concentration and focus.
5. Improvement of physical and mental health in general.
It is important to note that PMR should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or counseling, especially if you are suffering from any physical or mental illness. However, it can be a valuable adjunct to treatment and help improve overall well-being. PMR is a good relaxation technique without any special spiritual orientation, which is carried out from the body level without any special esotericism.
Learning the PMR is not very difficult and there are some good YouTube videos or spoken instructions, some with background music or nature sounds. You can also find them on YouTube and on all music streaming portals. There are also books and CDs in stores. With a little body awareness, you can learn the method well and quite quickly. Nevertheless, it makes sense to complete at least one unit with a teacher in order to learn how to tense the individual parts of the body correctly and how to breathe correctly with professional correction.
I regularly use and teach PMR in my classes against stage fright, the relaxation and MindBody sessions and as part of the performance training.
Incidentally, the short form is also ideal for dancers before performances and competitions.