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RELAX AND CALM YOURSELF by Paramhansa Yogananda

Praecepta -volume 3 - praeceptum-70

“I will always behold the perfect, healthy, all-wise, all-blissful image of God in my life. Take away the weight of indifference and forgetfulness from my mind and make me drink the nectar of Thy ever-blessed Presence.”



Physical culturists and other health enthusiasts as well as spiritual teachers often talk of relaxation, but few know how to achieve it. Some people know how to relax physically but not mentally. To keep the mind fixed constantly on the Soul after freeing it from all distraction and thoughts is called “Soul relaxation.” Super-relaxation is complete voluntary withdrawal of consciousness and energy from the entire body.

Mental relaxation and semi-super-relaxation consist in releasing consciousness from the delusion of duality and resting the mind, keeping it identified with one’s own real nature of unity in Spirit. You have hypnotized yourselves into thinking that you are human beings, whereas in reality you are gods.

Method for Inducing Relaxation

First, close eyes; expel breath; switch off attention and energy from the senses. Feel and mentally watch the heart and circulation and calm them down by the command of will, as you stop a watch by gently touching its spring. With calmness, you can arrest the activities of the entire physical machinery.


When you want to relax any of the twenty body parts, gently tense that part, low or medium, and relax; then keep it still. This is the only scientific way to remove any possible tension in any body part and relax it completely.


Quickly tense to low or medium, all the twenty body parts, feet to neck, clenching fists, then quickly relax and keep still. You can relax the whole body this way, either standing, sitting, or lying down. Repeat twice, to insure relaxation by removing all tension from all body parts. For complete relaxation of the whole body, first tense the whole body and then relax. It is possible to so withdraw the energy from muscles and limbs that your body will feel like a mass of lifeless flesh and bones – like a helpless jelly-fish. Remember that if you are holding the arm even slightly apart from the body, you are tensed – you are burning energy in that part and are not completely relaxed.


When tissues stop decaying, the venous blood ceases to accumulate in the body. This gives the heart a much needed rest, for there is no longer any need of its pumping great quantities of venous blood into the lungs for purification, as the neutralized electrifted tissues do not require blood and oxygen. Thus heart action and breathing become unnecessary. This leads to the release of the enormous quantity of Life Current which otherwise would have been needed in the heart for the daily task of pumping eighteen tons of blood through the system. Thus the many billions of cells no longer work and move through inner currents and are no longer dependent upon blood and oxygen. They rest and depend more and more upon this inner sustaining current to enable them to live in a conscious, suspended, undecaying state.

When the body cells learn the art of living without bread (blood and oxygen), they will truly know how to live by the “Word of God,” or the inner energy coming down from the medulla, and upon the released currents from the heart and other inner organs.

By the last and most important method, you learn scientifically how to disengage your attention and energy from their identification with the world of sensations – muscles, heart, spine, and so forth. There are several kinds of this astral and mental relaxation:

Unconscious Muscular Relaxation

This is usually practiced in a very imperfect manner by moving the limbs. Those who use this method generally keep half of the muscles tensed and possibly the other half relaxed. Some people remain completely tensed and only imagine that they are relaxed.

Conscious Muscular or Motor Relaxation

It is the purpose of this method of relaxation to withdraw consciousness and energy completely from the muscles. To achieve this, first gently tense the entire body or a certain part of it. Then relax or withdraw all energy from the body or the body part in question and remain relaxed, without the slightest physical motion. The complete absence of motion and tension from muscles and limbs is “relaxation.” Imagine that the body is jelly-like, without bones or muscles. When you can do this, you have attained perfect muscular relaxation.

Passive Sensory Relaxation or Sleep

In muscular relaxation, the mind and energy are relaxed or withdrawn from the muscles but not from the sensory nerves, or the sense-seats of optical, auditory, olfactory, tactual, and gustatory nerves. During deep sleep, the mind and energy are passively and unconsciously withdrawn from the motor and sensory nerves, and even thoughts are banished. When the Soul becomes satiated with material contacts during the day, it passively switches off the Life Force and mind from the senses. Sleep can be induced at will by suddenly relaxing the body, lying down on the back, dismissing all thoughts, and closing the eyes. Try this until you learn to sleep or dream at will. With closed eyes, visualize a different room from the one in which you are resting and fall asleep thinking of it. In this manner dreams can be induced.


The mind must manifest calmness; where the worries and trials of every-day life are concerned, it must be like water which does not retain any impression of the waves that play on its bosom. That which can be done passively and unconsciously can also be attained consciously. Through the Lesson on higher Meditation, one can achieve complete calmness in the heart, lungs, and other inner organs. When the muscles and inner organs are freed from motion by relaxation, the breaking down of bodily tissues and decay is temporarily inhibited. This in turn helps to keep the blood stream pure, for when there is decay going on in the body, the waste products are thrown into the venous blood, and poison it.

Enter into absolute silence every morning and banish thoughts for several minutes each time. Then think of some happy incident in your life; dwell on it and visualize it; mentally go through the same pleasant experience over and over again until you forget your worries entirely. Sit quiet and meditate on the joy of Silence. Think of that joy as communion with God. The more you meditate, the more you will realize that nothing else can give you that refined joy but the increasing joy of Silence. That joy-contact in meditation is the contact of God. Pray deeply with devotion, first for God’s love, then for wisdom, happiness, health, prosperity, and then for the fulfillment of any specific legitimate wish.