Relaxing the Writer Relaxation
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Relaxing the Writer Relaxation
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Audio CD, November 11, 2011
A 20-minute relaxation practice perfect for the body that doesn’t have a clue what relaxation feels like. Writers, computer users, and anyone whose body and mind slip into stress needs to try this.
Relaxing the Writer Relaxation makes relaxation more accessible than mediation. Just listen and follow simple instructions. Relaxation is the most needed and often the difficult skill to learn. This proven method can teach anyone to recognize tension – and let it go.
You may experience a dreamlike state disconnected from your mind and body. In this state creative answers and ideas emerge more easily. Your breathing changes. Your body slows. You awake completely relaxed.
Amber Polo loves to teach people to relax. Using her calming voice and yoga training she created Relaxing the Writer Relaxation and Relaxing the Writer Hand Meditation. Her complementary book Relaxing the Writer: Guidebook to the Writer’s High is a compendium of hundreds of ways a writer can release stress and find joy on the writing road.
How to use this CD – Begin by listening to Track 1- Introduction and follow the preparation instructions. Then choose either Track 2 or, if you want to use it to fall asleep, listen to Track 3 - Prelude to Sleep with only gentle music fading as you drift into peaceful sleep. If you’re still awake, replay Track 3.
“Amber’s calm and reassuring voice is guaranteed to grab the wildest of minds and lead them to equanimity.”
“If you need to stimulate creativity, quiet your mind into restful sleep or relax a hand cramped by pen or keyboard, Amber is the writing friend you’ve dreamed of.”
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Relaxing the Writer Relaxation is described as a "powerful 20-minute relaxation method," and it is offered by author, yoga instructor, and librarian Amber Polo. The CD contains 3 tracks: 1) Introduction, 2) Relaxation, and 3) Prelude to Sleep. In the Introduction, Polo provides an overview of positioning tips for the relaxation (i.e., either seated or lying). She also makes the point that relaxation is NOT meditation and is NOT sleep.
The second and third tracks are very similar. Both contain about a 6-minute segment of progressive muscle relaxation, a technique where the muscles are first contracted, then relaxed. The main difference is that in the "Relaxation" practice, Polo continues to cue, eventually bringing the segment to conclusion, whereas in the "Prelude to Sleep" segment, the music gradually fades at the end, with the intent of allowing for sleep.
I was disappointed with these audio practices, which felt quite rushed to me. Polo would cue to take a breath, and while I was still breathing slowly in and out, she was moving on to the next thing. Furthermore, as a psychologist, I teach progressive muscle relaxation myself, and I always place the emphasis on the relaxation of the muscle, NOT the tensing of the muscle. Polo failed to do this, moving quickly through the relaxation cues. After she finished with the progressive muscle relaxation portion (again, only about 6 minutes), she did take time to go through the entire body and suggest cues to relax, but this was very simplistic--e.g., "relax the feet, relax the calves...," offering no other suggestions other than "relax." (Plus, I find cues such as "relax your eyelashes" to be downright silly.)
Googling "progressive muscle relaxation" will bring up much better audio practices than what Polo offers here; I would not recommend paying for this CD.