In the same way that HUNGER is an invitation to eat; TENSION is an invitation to relax.
Are you sensitive? Of course you are, you’re a human being! We are very porous creatures and we are constantly absorbing energies. We absorb the energies of our friends, our peers– and especially our families. Generally, a lot of what we feel on a daily basis doesn’t even belong to us! But we absorb it anyway. And if we don’t have a method of clearing energy out of the body, it accumulates, it crystallizes and becomes tension.
WHAT WE RESIST, PERSISTS. So even though it’s tempting, we can’t ignore our tension or else it will only get stronger. One day we will have to face it. So I suggest we face it every day. And it doesn’t have to be scary! How do we face our tension? By dropping into our bodies. And you don’t have to make a big deal out of it. Even when you’re watching your Netflix you can sit on the floor and stretch a little bit.
Maybe you’re thinking: Well this all sounds good, but I’m not a Pilates instructor– I don’t know how to stretch or release tension. Well babies, YOU’RE WRONG. You absolutely do know how! Maybe not intellectually, but your body knows. Your body knew how to take on the tension so it MUST know how to let it go.
Holding a stretch is holding the space for tension to leave. It’s like at the end of a dinner party and you open the front door and everyone knows it’s time to go. Your tension doesn’t want to be stuck in your shoulders or your hips. It wants to get the hell out of you! But if you don’t open the door, how can it leave? You aren’t forcing it out, you aren’t even actively trying to let go– you’re just holding the door open. So if you’re having trouble letting go of something in your life, don’t try to think your way free– feel your way free. Let your body be your liberator!
Relaxing is hard, I get it– especially without a martini or a joint. But if you start to observe yourself accumulating tensions, you can start relaxing them immediately. Just noticing when you’re getting tense is the first step to relaxing. I can’t tell you how many people I work with who don’t even realize how tense they are! That’s why TENSION is an INVITATION to RELAX– because as soon as you notice it, you can start to release it.
Yoga teaches us to heal with opposites. If you’re feeling lethargic, you heal that with an intense practice. If you’re feeling strung out, you heal that with a gentle practice. TENSION is your body’s way of saying: HEY, PAY ATTENTION, SOMETHING IS STUCK AND YOU NEED TO RELAX! It’s not a bad thing; it’s actually a fabulous indicator that you are overdue for a mini-vacation. You heal tension by softening. And let’s be real, all of us could stand to be a lot softer with ourselves. So love your tension because it’s reminding you to stay soft. Love your tension because it too wants to be free. Love your tension, truly, but for the love of god let it go.