629 words will take you about 3 min, to read and give you a whole night of sweet sleep
Become an Exhaler I – in bed tonight
Expanding on the delicious morning ‘let-go’ from my December BBB Undercover Yoga 1; here is what you could play with tonight when you are softly covered in your bed.
For just a moment feel into what’s normally happening to your breathing when you remember you hear or see something stressful on TV, Radio, on the road, at the office, something happening with your child, or when that person is on the line.
You probably recount a quick inhale “hhiiiiii” and than – – – you kept it right in. Your chin slid backwards and tensed up your neck slightly more with tension spreading into your shoulders and (at least) down your whole spine. Any further breaths go by un-noticeably and there never seems to be a release through a deep exhale. Hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…
If you just embodied what I was describing – that HHHaaaaahhh – “valley”, was very nice and needed, wasn’t it?
I was describing a very mild enactment of our ancient startle reflex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startle_reaction that has become a “normal/default” tension pattern piling up inside throughout each day. You may not have felt much of this until you begin to pay attention to these tightening responses that accumulate throughout your body over time.
The startle reflex developed as a survival skill through thousands of years of evolution beginning with our animal ancestors. I see it as part of the freeze (play possum) strategy to avoid “being lunch”.
This clever and automated response obviously worked or we would not be here. It is still run by your “reptilian brain”.
It is a very useful reflex for some of those extreme life threatening situations we do encounter, but not very supportive when our “normal” daily stressors themselves become its constant trigger. In other words: when quick inhalation-tension without satisfying exhalation-release has become just another pattern that’s adding even more vigilance to our western stressed-out bodies and minds. OOOaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh
Just on the side; here’s another interesting food for thought. Ask somebody to exhale – they inhale first…. But that’s for another blog
“Exhalers live longer” –
This is one of the most foundational ideas I explore with all my clients.
Allow your exhale to be your main focus.
The slower we breathe – the longer we live – they say in Yoga.
For tonight’s comforting exploration your exhale does not need to be longer or stronger. Just notice your normal exhale! Curious isn’t it? Exhales automatically become longer when we pay attention to them. No strength needed - just sensing. You may find a release in your body, a let go, a softening of your chest and belly – and then – just an empty space —-before the next inhale cascades in ….
Your bed right now is the luscious haven of opportunity to set your internal stage for the whole night. Feel your body, bones, organs and muscles in the warm embrace we already explored in the December BBB.
Notice how noticing a longer/slower exhale relaxes you, even if only a tiny piece of your body softens. That’s it!
Your heart rate will slow down as well. Good!
Play with it again. You can feel how your bodies weight sinks towards your mattress, how your shoulders are moving away from your ears to where they can rest. No need to keep your head up any longer. (In Germany we say: keep your ears stiff… same up-tightness) This frees up your neck and even your jaw, your spine, your belly and your pelvis.
Luxuriate in another exhale. Can you feel how you are beginning to let go deeper? Look for a sense of slow flow and softening inside your tissues as you rel-ease your day.
I wish you a good night and very sweet dreams!
With a delicious exhale
Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include:
Become an Exhaler in the morning
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Touch for Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips
Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.
The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.
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