Relax as the Sun Sets

This is an exercise in guided imagery.  You will need a partner to slowly read the relaxation script for this exercise.  If you are pregnant, ask your labor partner to assist you.
To begin, find a comfortable, relaxing position.  Take a cleansing breath in.  Then breathe out.  Allow every part of your body to relax, from the soles of your feet, to the crown of your head.  Slowly, steadily, relaxation begins with your toes.  It flows up through your legs.  Then it flows up to your torso, surrounding your belly.  It flows up through your chest and up to neck, and surrounds your head.  Relaxation is overtaking your body, mind, and spirit.
Mentally scan your body. Where there is tension, imagine that the healing power of rest and relaxation is sweeping over this area.  Feel your body relax further.
Now, allow your mind to rest as you concentrate on the image of the sunset.  Imagine that you are standing on the shore watching the sun slowly set in the evening sky.  Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.  Listen to the waves softly crash against the shore.  As your eyes gaze across the water, allow any remaining tension or stress to be released and washed away into the water as you rest peacefully on the shore.  Enjoy the quietness that surrounds you.  Slowly breathe in.  Slowly breathe out.
Relax here for a few minutes as all that is around and within you is at rest.
Now choose to awaken or drift off to sleep.
If you choose to awaken, feel your mind, body, and spirit become more aware of your surroundings.
If you choose to sleep, allow your relaxation to deepen.
Continue to breathe in and breathe out.  I will count to three.  As I reach three, you will be at your desired state of awakening or relaxation.  1, 2, 3
Sunset image taken from www.freenaturepictures.com.  Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic” http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”

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