To learn the standard exercises of AT and practice them, you need a peaceful and quiet setting, sufficiently heated, at least at the beginning of the practice. Clothing should be comfortable and not constricting. Loosen your belt if too tight, untie your shoelaces, unbutton collars and cuffs, take off your glasses, etc. AT should be learned and performed adopting a seated position or lying on your back. When you have mastered the technique, you’ll be able to do it even standing. When you do the relaxation is good to cover yourself because the body temperature tends to decrease slightly. Moreover, a pleasant feeling of warmth will promote relaxation. The following are the three classical positions to learn and perform autogenic training.

training_autogeno_supinoLying on your back, on the bed or a mat.
Place a pillow under your head. The jaws are not closed, they are relaxed (upper and lower teeth don’t touch). The lips are closed or slightly open. Your arms lie at your side, slightly away from your torso, and the palms of the hands are on the floor with your fingers slightly apart from each other. Your elbows are slightly bent. In case of discomfort in the arms, place your hands on your hips, leaving your elbows on the mattress. Your legs are slightly apart, at about the same width of your shoulders, and your feet slightly pointing outwards.


Seated on a couch, an armchair or a chair

Seat comfortably and lay your back and head on the backrest, if high enough. If the backrest is not high enough, let your head go down naturally (chin towards the chest). Your arms rest on the arm rests, if available. If not, your palms rest on the couch or on your thighs. Always adjust your position so that you feel comfortable and there isn’t muscular tension. The legs are slightly apart, about the same width of your shoulders. Your feet are flat on the floor and the inner angle of your knees is about 90 degrees or greater (the heels are on the same vertical line of the knees or slightly ahead of them).

training_autogeno_cocchiereSitting on a stool (the coachman position).

This is definitely the less comfortable position to learn autogenic training, but if the other two positions aren’t unavailable, this is fine too. If you like, you can bring the stool closer or against the wall, so that you feel more stable, but it’s not necessary. The trunk and head are relaxed and tends to lean forward. The more you relax the more you lean forward. Your legs are slightly apart, about same width of your shoulders. Your feet are flat on the floor and the inner angle of your knees is about 90 degrees or greater, just like the previous position. The forearms are resting on your thighs, and your hands are hanging inside the thighs without touching each other.

It’s useful to vary the positions, bearing in mind that the seated one is the most frequently used. During the learning process, try both the supine and seated positions.