Second Collar Training:  Body and Mind

Approaching human pup play with stress and worry is not a good thing, but chances are you will be in an enthusiastic and positively eager state to enter pup mode. This is probably because your day to day life is full of stress. That tension from your daily routine can seriously impede practising your pup exercises. The easy to do technique of progressive muscle relaxation can help, as it is simply going through various muscle groups in your body and tensing each one for a little while, followed by a quick letting go of the tension. It is a direct and practical relaxation technique, where you can notice the sensation of the release of stress as it occurs. You will literally feel how limp your muscles are in contrast to their previous tense state. 

At each stage of relaxing muscles you should focus your attention not simply on the physical body but also on your imaginary pup body. Visualise your pup "self" as it you want it to look. Combining this technique with creative visualisation helps associate your pup self, as you imagine it and create it, with your relaxed body. 

To use this training technique you need to find a quiet place to lie down, or at least sit very comfortably. If you can be comfortable where you are nude then do so pup, but at least have loose clothing on if you aren't naked. The technique works by tensing a muscle group then releasing it. When you tense a muscle group DO NOT over exert it; don't tighten using more than two thirds of your effort.

You simply tense your muscle, hold it for six to ten seconds, and notice how the tension feels. Visualise that pent up energy as a transformation of your human body into your pup body. After six to ten seconds of tension, let go of the tension all at the same time. Relax the muscle and enjoy that feeling, and imagine your pup body. Focus your attention on that good feeling of stress relief, focus your imagination on what your pup body looks like. You can do the tense/relax action a couple more times if it helps. It isn't about getting it right, or visualising perfectly. The point of the exercise is to relax and associate relaxed body with puphood. 

You will find that as you tense one muscle group, you inadvertently tense others, especially your facial muscles or abdominals. Try to focus only on one muscle group at a time and keep the other areas relaxed, especially your face. You will find pup that this exercise is excellent practice for knowing and controlling your body better.

You will of course begin the exercise having found a comfortable space. Nudity is preferred, and that includes not wearing a puphood. Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly let the air out. Use your imagination and visualise your pup self as breathing in, having puffed up your puppy chest, then  your pup self deflates and relaxes as you breath out. Take a number of these big breaths to enjoy imagining your pup self. Your human body should feel limper with each breath. 

The technique proper will begin as you focus on your hands. Squeeze your fingers into a fist. Experience the tension for six to ten seconds. Then all at once let go. Release and let your hands go limp. Let the relaxation deepen for ten to fifteen seconds (just twice as long as you tensed). Visualise your hands as pup paws.

Next, bring your lower arms up almost to your shoulders and tighten the muscles both on the inside and the outside of your arms. Hold that tension, then let it go and relax as you did with your hands. As you relax visualise your paws and then see your arms covered in fur or rubber, as you imagine your pup self to be. 

Next you raise your shoulders up, hold the tension, then let them drop, following the tense-hold-relax technique. Imagine your pup upper body as being fully pup rather than human as you now move onto your upper back. Push your shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades as close together as you can. Tense, hold, release, relax. In your minds eye see your pup self as you want you to be. 

Now scrunch up your face, pulling your forehead down, clenching your jaw, pursing your lips. Once again tense and hold it for six to ten seconds, then relax and enjoy the stress flowing away. Visualise your pup body from your paw to your shoulder and now your face.

To relax your neck. It's important you move gently. Pull your head back slowly and feel your neck muscles tighten. Be careful not to hurt your neck. Feel the tension, hold, release. See in your mind your pup hood on your head and recall how it feels. Once again, gently and carefully move your neck. Slowly pull your chin down towards your chest, tensing your neck muscles, holding, then releasing. 

Your chest and stomach muscles are easy to tighten, but remember to maintain that tension for at least six to ten seconds before letting go. By now you can imagine your upper body as all pup.

The last part of your upper body to tense and relax is your lower back. Just like your neck, go carefully as you do the technique here. Gently and slowly arch your lower back, tensing it any way you want. Often it's easier to simply press back against a chair or the floor mat you are on. Slowly and gently increase tension to a safe - not feeling pain - level. Hold, but don't over do it. Use only two thirds of your strength. Going hard here can hurt you. After six to ten seconds holding, release and relax and enjoy that feeling. In your minds eye see your upper body as you want to see your pup self.

Moving on to the lower body, tighten your arse cheeks, clenching and rising up a little. Pull your sphincter in. Hold it all in for six to ten seconds, then relax. Recall the feeling of your tail being in your hole. 

Now squeeze and tighten your thigh muscles, holding then releasing. Visualise your pup body as almost fully formed. You can tense and tighten the muscles in your calves by pulling your toes towards you face. Be careful not to overdo it, as you can hurt yourself if you are prone to cramps here. Hold the tension, release and relax. With your pup legs being imagined in your mind, move on to gently curl your toes. Hold the tension, then release and relax. 

You have relaxed your body. Take some time to visualise your whole body as your pup self. Go on a little mental tour of your body and see if you notice any areas that are not limp and relaxed. If necessary repeat the technique for that area. You can let yourself enjoy the feeling of being relaxed. Imagine your pup self happy and present in every part of your body. When you have finished your reverie, open your eyes and go on with your day and or night knowing your pup self relaxes inside you