Relaxation is important because any form of tension blocks energy. Muscular tension is felt as mental and emotional stress, and emotional stress causes physical and muscular tension and dis-ease! Power trying to move through a tense body is like an electric current trying to force its way through a line of resistors. Most of the juice is lost along the way. Physical relaxation also seems to change brain wave patterns that aren't
Begin by lying down on your back. Loosen any restrictive clothing. Do NOT cross your limbs.
In order to know how relaxation feels, you must first experience tension. You are going to tense all the muscles in the body, one by one, and keep them tense until it is time to relax your body with one big breath. Don't clench your muscles so that they cramp; just tense them lightly.
Start with your toes. Tense the toes in your right foot, and now your left foot. Now tense your right foot; and then your left foot. Tense your right ankle. now, your left ankle....
Proceed through the body until you have tense all the body parts. You MUST tell yourself mentally to do the work for each part, and feel it happen. If you feel anything go "limp," then re-tense it.
When you come to your head, tell yourself: Now tense the scalp. My whole body is tense. I feel the tension in every part.. Now, take a deep breath ... pause ... exhale ... and relax!
Relax completely ... relax your toes on the right foot; now, on the left ... and so on throughout your entire body until you feel yourself floating. Tell yourself periodically: I feel totally relaxed; My body is light, it feels like water, like it is melting into the earth.
Allow yourself to drift and float peacefully in this state of relaxation. If any worries or anxieties disturb your relaxation, imagine they drain from your body like water and melt into the earth. Feel yourself being healed and renewed.
Remain in this state for 10 to 15 minutes. Practice this daily until you can relax completely by simply lying down and letting yourself go without having to go through the entire process. People who have difficulty sleeping will appreciate this and find it extremely helpful; HOWEVER, do not allow yourself to drift off into sleep. You are training your mind to remain in a relaxed but alert state. Later, you will use this state for trance work, and it will be much more difficult if you are not in the habit of staying awake. If you practice this right before you go to sleep at night, then force yourself to end the exercise by sitting up, opening your eyes, and consciously ending the exercise before allowing yourself to doze.
~from Maat's Book of Shadows