A desk job means tired achy neck, shoulder and back muscles by the end of the week, or day depending on the day had. For me, yoga stretches are great to alleviate the tension. No, I am not about to give a class on yoga 🙂
As I begin my stretch, there is inevitably a hesitation, however slight, as I expect some tightness that would be uncomfortable. Usually we would avoid such discomfort. Nevertheless aided by the steady rhythmic breath, I go into the stretch, listening to my body’s “tolerance”, trusting my body to know what it can do, and “resisting” ‘the voice in my head saying “enough, don’t do this or it will hurt”.
As I remain in the pose, I tell myself it’s to be expected and it’s okay to feel the tightness in my muscles, to feel them stretch and perhaps groan 🙂 a little. I tell myself not to brace against the “aches and pains”. Slowly I notice the tightness and tension ebbing, replaced by a certain looseness and ease.
It is always a joy to experience a pose, which at the beginning of the exercise was difficult, is now less so.
Like life, bracing against something, anything often adds to the tension and brings greater discomfort. Easing into our “aches and pains” and discomfort stretches our muscles, and brings comfort.
This allowing ourselves to feel the discomfort does not mean tolerating nor does it increase our tolerance threshold. Tolerating is still bracing against some other thing.
When we do not set ourselves against the other, when we experience all of life as one with its expected light and shadow, not minding, not resisting the tension or discomfort, trusting life to fall into position that is right, and in so doing, the tightness and tension ease.
Are you bracing against…? Time to ease into…?
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