The way you think about pain and body movements is restrictive. This Basic Body Stretch will get you started towards opening the body for support and flow. Let’s begin with the neck.
Practice: Standing or sitting, your upper body is straight, shoulders down and relaxed, neck tall and facing forward. This may be as far as you will need to go to feel the first part of the practice.
- Very, very slowly, lean your head to one side until you feel the tiniest stretch.
- Do not move past the tiniest stretch. The stretch should be barely noticeable. If you feel pain or an, “ah, that’s a good stretch” you have gone much too far. Pull back and start again until you barely feel the muscle engage.
- Stay here in this place of barely engaging your muscle, the tiniest stretch.
- When the muscle is again relaxed and you can no longer feel the muscle awareness to the tiniest stretch, move a tiny bit more and stop.
- Repeat holding this tiniest stretch until you no longer feel it.
- Continue and repeat for 5-30 minutes until your stretch is complete or until you encounter pain that is more than a tiny awareness in the muscle.
This is a very slow process. You will need to repeat the process on a single muscle or muscle group more than once for complete release of the holding patterns your brain has created. Take your time. You may notice immediate change in your flexibility, clarity of thought, problem solving without stress, and more. For chronic holding it can take a week or more to notice relief.
Typically, you have been using your brain to avoid pain. As soon as a stretch becomes painful the brain alters the energetic process and the blockage of energy is not released back to free flow. In a painful stretch, only the physical muscle is being stretched. Going at a very slow, deliberate pace will release both the energetic and physical blocks, reconnecting the mind, brain, and body movement as one.
Purpose: This practice will strengthen your muscle fibers, bring awareness to body issues, and heal the muscle tissue so the body can hold a healthy posture without effort. Over time in combination with Contemplation Exercise you can experience complete physical release.