Pat the Platypus has always been very quiet and shy. He doesn’t talk to many people and usually hides away. Pat often stays by himself and doesn’t really know what to say to others, so he feels anxious when he is in a group. He notices that he blushes and starts to get sweaty and shaky; sometimes he even feels his heart race and it’s hard to breathe.
Pat knows he is naturally quiet, and that’s ok. But he wants to make friends, so he practices getting better at talking to others. He noticed that his neighbour Wynn the Wombat usually plays by himself too, so he decided to try and make friends. He decided he would go up to him and talk about his favourite books. It was uncomfortable at first, but he persisted. Now they are best friends! They practice yoga together. Sometimes they do yoga in the park with others too.
Pat still gets shy and nervous sometimes, but when he feels himself starts blushing, he reminds himself to take 5 deep breaths, relax his body and feel all his muscles loosen up.
Pat practices “Relax - from the tips of your toes to the end of your nose.”
Find a comfortable, quiet place to put down on your mat, and lie down or sit down.
Close your eyes, breathe out and let your body loosen up.
Take 5 slow deep breaths before you begin.
Then we repeat the three steps as we travel up your body.
Target a part of the body to start with, usually your feet. Curl down your toes and concentrate on scrunching up your feet as much as you can, for only 5 seconds, without hurting yourself.
Only tense the part of your body you are focusing on.
After 5 seconds, quickly release your foot muscles and breathe out, feeling all the tension in your feet flow out and melt away. It is important to take note that your feet are now loose and floppy.
Stay in your relaxed state for 15 seconds, then you’re ready to move on to the next part of your body.
Pat likes to follow this sequence:
Curl your feet
Squeeze your legs
Clench your bottom
Pull in your stomach
Clench your fists
Raise your shoulders
Squeeze your eyelids shut
Scrunch your nose
When you’re starting out you might like someone to gently guide you through it, so that you can get used to how long to tense and relax each time.