61 Points Relaxation Meditation

You can do this practice sitting up or lying down. If you are able to do it lying down without falling asleep, it will serve very well as a deep relaxation exercise. Done sitting up it serves more as a kind of calming concentration exercise.

The exercise consists simply in following with your attention a trail of 61 distinct points throughout the body. That is to say, you focus your attention on each of 61 distinct points in turn.

There are a number of options in regards to what you do at each point and how much time you spend there. In regards to what you do at each point, you have the choice of either

  • silently counting the point
  • imagining a small blue star there (blue because it is the most calming color)
  • simply noting the sensation at each point
  • doing all of the above - or any combination thereof

So, if you choose to count the points, you start at the first point which is at the center of the forehead and you say silently to yourself, “One.” You then move to the next point at the center of the neck and count, “Two,” and so forth until you reach the 61st point. On the other hand, if you choose to imagine a blue star, you simply focus your attention on the point and imagine a blue star occupying that point and so on with each point, without counting or doing anything else.

In regards to how much time to spend, you can either time the movement of your attention with your breath, so that with each inhalation you move to the next point and with each exhalation you focus your attention there. (Exhalation is inherently more relaxing than inhalation, so it's best to use the exhalation for the time spent at the point which you are relaxing.) Alternatively, you can completely ignore the breath and just move according to a set amount of time at a pace which you find relaxing, usually with between 2 to 5 seconds spent at each point.

Each time you focus your attention on a point, whether you are counting it, imaging the star or feeling the sensation at that point, try to feel the point and the area that surrounds it melting into a deep relaxation. If it already feels relaxed, just imagine it relaxing even more.

Expect to spend a number of sessions at the beginning just learning the proper progression of the points. Once you have them memorized and they follow effortlessly one after the other, you will begin to be able to experience the deep relaxation possible with this exercise. Alternatively, you can have someone read to you the points out loud.

The points to focus on are as follows (refer to chart for easy print out):

1 – center of forehead
2 – base of the front of the neck
3 – right shoulder
4 – right elbow (inside or outside, as you prefer – the same for all other joints)
5 – right wrist
6 – right thumb
7 – right index finger
8 – right middle finger
9 – right ring finger
10 – right little finger
11 – right wrist
12 – right elbow
13 – right shoulder
14 – base of the front of the neck
15 – left shoulder
16 – left elbow
17 – left wrist
18 – left thumb
19 – left index finger
20 – left middle finger
21 – left ring finger
22 – left little finger
23 – left wrist
24 – left elbow
25 – left shoulder
26 – base of the front of the neck
27 – center of chest
28 – right of chest
29 – center of chest
30 – left of chest
31 – center of chest
32 – navel
33 – pubis
34 – right hip
35 – right knee
36 – right ankle
37 – right big toe
38 – right second toe
39 – right third toe
40 – right fourth toe
41 – right little toe
42 – right ankle
43 – right knee
44 – right hip
45 – pubis
46 – left hip
47 – left knee
48 – left ankle
49 – left big toe
50 – left second toe
51 – left third toe
52 – left fourth toe
53 – left little toe
54 – left ankle
55 – left knee
56 – left hip
57 – pubis
58 – navel
59 – center of chest
60 – base of the front of the neck
61 – center of forehead

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Comments on "61 Points Relaxation Meditation"

Jenny

on 25 October 2013 at 9:57 am:

Hello

I would like to request permission to use your sixty one point meditation.

I have written a book called Yoga for Travellers and I would like to use this meditation or relaxation in one of the suggested sequences.

I am happy to reference your website, but please let me know if you have taken this meditation or relaxation from another source.

Many thanks
Jenny


Peter

on 25 October 2013 at 10:22 am:

Hi Jenny,

I learned the 61 Points relaxation sequence from my teacher during a guided meditation over ten years ago -- and he in turn had learned it through Swami Rama of the Himalayan Yoga group. You can find a number of other references to the meditation online, so I believe it could be considered in the public domain. I modified the accompanying picture based on a drawing of the human body I found online (but I don't have a reference), and added the numbering.

The Yoga Nidra relaxation at http://www.meditationmojo.com/meditation-articles/advanced-meditation/lucid-sleeping-yoga-nidra is something I developed myself. I also developed a 108 Points Relaxation which I'd be happy to share with you if you're interested.

Best wishes,

Peter


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