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My Meditative Moments

Working with Our Body’s Tension

by meditative - December 26th, 2014.
Filed under: Insights for Mindful Intelligence, Insights For Mindfulness Training.

Tension in the body may manifest itself physically as constriction and tightness. The imprint may be in the face (brow, jaw), shoulders, chest, etc. Gently noticing is the first step in working with our body’s tension. Letting Go is the relaxed mindset we cultivate to ease our reflexive tendency to resist and exasperate the tightness we may feel in our muscles.

The act of letting go is breathing and opening up into our tension. It’s embracing the constrictive energy with an open and curious awareness- giving it space to freely work itself out of our body without the mind continuing to feed and sustain it. Letting go is deeply rooted in the relaxation response of our extended nervous system. A relaxed mindset can help our body to loosen up and return to a more natural state of homeostasis.

Mindfulness of body is paying close attention to what is happening with real openness and care. It’s a quality of attention that sends relaxed (“higher”) energy into a place of the body filled with restrictive (“lower”) energy… the higher energy ultimately cancels out the lower energy by allowing it to naturally open up and dissipate out into the space of a more expansive field of energy.

The simple yet genuine act of smiling or half-smiling can often be an effective way to initiate this release of higher-order energy in the body. When we smile at ourselves, we naturally relax and bring heart-felt energy into our intention, and the mind & body responds neurologically, chemically, and physically. When experiencing some tightness in the body, you might practice this smiling effect of letting go. Wherever you may be, take a few conscious breaths… breathing “in” and “out”…  relaxing the mind with free and caring attention… smiling on the “exhale” and simply letting go of the tightness in the body. A reduction in tension may soon follow.

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