This stretch and relax script will guide you to relax your body by stretching out key areas to decrease the tension in your muscles.
You can use this script to record your own relaxation audio or learn to relax.
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None of these exercises should cause pain. If you experience any discomfort, stop or ease up. All of these stretches should be done gently and comfortably. Stretch until you feel a slight pull, not until you feel pain.
In this stretch and relax script, we will begin with the most important key areas to release tension, and then proceed to stretch muscle groups from the feet upward.
Take a deep breath in.... hold.... and breathe out, releasing tension. Continue to breathe rhythmically throughout these exercises.
The first key area to stretch and relax is the neck and shoulders.
Turn your head to the right - gently looking over your right shoulder ....
Breathe in.... and out....
Now return to center.
Turn your head to the left....Breathe in as you look over your left shoulder.... and out as you return to center.
Turn again to the right.... now back to center..... and turn to the left.... and back to center.
Take a deep breath in.
Facing straight ahead, exhale as you look down.... bringing your chin toward your chest.... down... down... allow the muscles on the back of your neck to lengthen..... allow your head to hang forward, gently stretching the muscles.... breathing slowly in and out....
Now raise your chin and look straight ahead again.
Breathe in as you look up.... up..... raise your chin up as you gaze toward the ceiling.... as you exhale, feel the muscles along the front of your neck lengthen in a pleasant stretch and relax.
Relax your head backward and continue to look toward the sky. Breathe in and out. Stretch and relax.
Now return your head to a neutral position, facing forward.
Look down one more time. Exhale as you allow the weight of your head to gently stretch the muscles of your neck as you relax your head forward.... No force is needed to assume this position.... just relax into this position of looking down with your chin toward your chest... continue breathing gently as you feel your neck muscles relaxing further.... no longer able to remain tightened or tense....
Return to neutral, facing forward....
And now inhale as you look up again.... relax your head back.... feel the length of your neck, stretching out your muscles gently. Exhale.
Return to neutral.
Inhale, bring your shoulders up toward your ears. Raise them up high.... and then lower your shoulders as you exhale.
Raise your shoulders again in a shrug.... and lower them, allowing the muscles down the sides of your neck and the top of your shoulders to lengthen and give up the tension they were holding.
Roll your shoulders in forward circles..... rotate.... rotate.... rotate..... and now change directions... circle your shoulders back..... rotate..... rotate.... rotate your shoulders.
Rest your shoulders now. Feel how much more relaxed your shoulders feel.
Now breathe in through your mouth as you stretch your jaw by opening your mouth wide.... as wide as you can... feel the muscles stretching.... exhale and relax.... close your mouth but let your jaw drop slightly so your teeth are not touching..... let your jaw be loose and relaxed.
The last key area to stretch and relax to relieve tension is your hands. Clench your hands into tight fists... hold.... and relax. Let your hands be limp.
Now open your hands wide... wider.... stretching your fingers out wide.... bring your arms forward and out to the sides, raising them above your head. Breathe in... and now breathe out as you relax your arms and hands, releasing the tension and letting them go limp. Shake out the tension as you gently shake both arms.
You have now stretched out the main areas where tension tends to accumulate. Proceed to stretch and relax further, moving from the feet upwards.
Breathe in... and out....
Continue slow, gentle breathing.
Point your right toes, feeling the calf muscle tighten, and the front of your shin stretching. Now place your heel on the floor and bring your right foot toward your right shin to stretch the back of the lower leg. To stretch even further, lean slightly forward at the hips and bend your left leg to bring your center of gravity toward the floor. Feel the stretch up into your right hamstring.
Now release your right leg back to neutral and point your left toe. Stretch the muscles on the front of your left lower leg.
Now put your left heel on the floor and point your left toes upward, stretching the back of the left lower leg. Lean forward a little, bending at the hips and right knee, to further stretch the calf and left hamstring.
Stretch and relax. Release your left leg to neutral.
Breathe in.... and out....
To stretch the thigh muscles, support yourself by placing your left hand on a wall, chair back, or other stable surface, and then bend your right knee and grasp your right foot in your hand. Feel the quadriceps on the front of your thigh stretching. Hold..... and now release. Slowly place your right foot back on the floor. Switch sides. Bend your left knee and grasp your left foot behind you in your hand. Stretch the front of the left thigh. Hold.... and release.
With both feet on the floor, shoulder width apart, and hands on your hips, breathe in. Now exhale as you lean gently left... only until you feel a slight stretch at your waist on the right side. Hold.... and now inhale and return to center.
Now breathe out as you lean slightly to the right.... feel a gentle stretch on your left side. Hold..... and now inhale and release. Exhale.
Breathe in.... and out....
Now gently grasp your hands behind you, with your arms straight. Breathe in as you bring both hands toward the back, away from the body. Bring your shoulder blades in toward each other. Feel the space between your collarbones widening and stretching. Hold this.... stretch and relax .... and now let go. Breathe out. Shake it out. Shake both arms gently and feel them relax.
Breathe in... Gently and slowly curve your spine by leaning your head forward and down... breathe out as you tighten your abdominal muscles and feel your back making a slight C-shape. Now breathe in as you return to neutral. Feel the neutral S-curve of your spine. Exhale. Now inhale and look up toward the ceiling. Arch your back slightly - just a little - exaggerating the curve in your lower back a bit. Exhale and return back to neutral.
Breathe in.... and out as you tighten your abdominal muscles again, curving your back forward.... and then relax. Breathe in.... and out. Return to neutral. Let your back be relaxed with it's natural curves. Stretch and relax.
Take a breath as you reach your right arm up toward the ceiling, stretch high up, lengthening the entire right side of your body. Breathe out and relax. Return to neutral. Now inhale and reach your left hand up high, reaching for the ceiling, lengthening the left side of your body. Then exhale and return to neutral.
Breathe in.... and out....
Continue to breathe slowly and gently.
Bring your right arm across the front of your body, grasp your upper arm with your left hand, and gently stretch your right shoulder. Now relax. Bring your left arm across, grasp the upper arm with your right hand, and stretch your left shoulder. Now relax. Shake both arms a bit and feel them relax further.
Breathe in.... Stretch both arms straight forward.... breathe out.... reach straight out to the sides at shoulder level.... inhale and reach forward again..... exhale and stretch your arms back out to the sides...... now inhale and reach up above your head.... stretch and relax as you exhale. Shake your arms out.
Scan your body for any areas of tension. Gently stretch and relax these areas or focus on relaxing them passively, just by thinking about releasing the tension.
Breathe in.... and exhale any remaining tension....
Breathe in.... and release tension as you breathe out....
Stretch your arms up above your head as you breathe in....