In this lesson you will find the next phase of the Autogenics Therapy Training Method.
Some people find the Heaviness exercise goes really well for them and are ready to move on to the warmth exercise ahead of schedule. Please don't you rush the process. Practice and patience have their rewards.
I also hope you have been able to take a few minutes for yourself in the past few days to do the exercises. If the demands of day to day living are such that you find it tough to carve out some time to do the exercises, you probably need a dynamic relaxation method like this more than you know.
Carving out time for life enhancing practices such as Autogenics training may require a bit of a lifestyle alteration. Our article on Time Management offers some conventional and extra-ordinary methods for "making time".
If the daily grind presents you with such challenges, I invite you to have a look. You might just find some answers.
Perhaps it's an issue of letting go.
Juggling the affairs of life can get overwhelming at times. The practice of Autogenics goes a long way toward insight into what really requires your attention (for instance, your inner life) and what can simply be left to take care of itself.
Just something else to consider.
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And now on to the next lesson...
Second Exercise -- Warmth
You are learning to arouse a feeling of warmth in yourself at your desire. Begin with your warm-up for about two minutes.
In the Autogenics program, you always recapitulate the previous exercise as you move ahead. Do the final Heaviness Formula. (Yes, the complete formula with all the repetitions. Heaviness-and the muscular relaxation it represents-is critical to the rest of the training. So you need to master it well right from the start.) Then begin this exercise for warmth:
My right arm is getting / limp and warm 6-8 times
My right arm is getting / warmer and warmer 6-8 times
My right arm / is completely warm 6-8 times
I feel / supremely calm 1 time
As you repeat the formula for warmth, use your imagination.
Practice this routine two or three times a day, for three days. After that, continue with the same formula but with the following substitutions (remembering to do the Warm-up breathing exercise and the Heaviness Formula at the beginning of each practice session):
* My left arm is getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
* Both my arms are getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
* My right leg is getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
* My left leg is getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
* Both my legs are getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
* My arms and legs are getting / limp and warm, etc. - 3 days
The Phase 2 routine takes 21 days of practice.
At the end of the 21 days, you may use a final Heavy/Warm Formula to sum up the first two exercises:
My arms and legs are getting / limp and heavy and warm 6-8 times
My arms and legs are getting / heavier and warmer 6-8 times
My arms and legs are / completely heavy and warm 6-8 times
I feel / supremely calm 1 time
Between cycles of the warmth formula, open your eyes, move and throw off some heaviness and warmth. Then repeat. As you mentally say the formula, use your imagination to recapture a time when your arm was warm. If you wish, visualize your arm immersed in a tub of warm water or remember the feeling of the seashore sun beating down, warming your arm.
If necessary, to get the feeling, between sessions put your arm in hot water, saying aloud, my arm is getting warmer and warmer.
You can also imagine sending inner warmth to your limbs.
Only begin the warmth formula for a limb if it feels heavy. If not, say the appropriate words until heaviness appears.
By this time in my own learning of this technique, I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing and the metaphorical juices were beginning to flow. Such that I started to consider "warmth" in terms of heartfelt compassion... the sappiest of love for my limbs, their cells and all the molecules they were composed of.
I don't think it hurt any as I let this notion run away with me. For instance, I considered my warm-up and recapitulation session as being the kind of "heavy" we referred to back in the 60's and 70's... you know, like "that's deep man, this mind over matter thing".
But when I wasn't waxing poetic (or corny), I'd simply place a pillow or blanket over the limb being worked at the time and repeated the warmth formula.
Such crutches wont always be necessary, but it gets the idea to your mind in the early stages. Sometimes, every little bit helps to keep the practice alive.
Remember, what you are working toward is well worth it. The ability to relax at will with your whole mind, conscious and "other-than-conscious" ready to do your bidding. So hang in there.