letting your body show you how to empty the tension from your shoulders

by kye on October 27, 2009

[Yesterday in my post about restorative walking, I mentioned ‘emptying the shoulders’ in passing.  A reader picked up on the phrase and commented on it, which prompted me to write more about it today.]

Notice how your shoulders feel right now.

If you’re really lucky, they may feel like you haven’t got a care in the world.  But for most of us, there will be tension.

Exactly what that tension feels like, will be different for each person, different even day to day.  The imagery that goes with emptying your shoulders of tension will be different too.

For some people the experience of tension in the shoulders might feel like a hot fullness.  For others it might be a feeling of heaviness.  For someone else, the shoulders might feel frozen.  Another might experience it as a tight pain.

My reader from yesterday had a lovely image of letting the tension drain out like a hot liquid.

For someone who experiences it as heaviness, it might feel good to visualize removing a heavy backpack.

For someone whose shoulders feel really frozen and tight, emptying the shoulders might feel like letting them melt and become fluid.

If you start by feeling how it is in your shoulders right now, then you can invite the right way of emptying them to come to you.  Don’t think it out.  Just let your curiosity play a little: ‘I wonder how…’.  Leave a little open space for the question while you stay with the feeling as it is.

I’m paying attention to my own shoulders right now.  The feeling is a little prickly.  I see an image of a burr.

I wait for a moment with that image and the sensation that goes with it…

I see myself picking burrs out of a sweater.  A grey sweater.  (The imagery can be vey specific and the little details can be oddly powerful.  Something about it being a sweater, and grey, is right for this moment so I take it in just like that.)

The image comes of someone sitting behind me, picking burrs out of the grey sweater across my shoulders.  Lots of little burrs.  It feels great!

I’m stretchng, and yawning.

  • http://www.purposepowercoaching.com acordaamor

    Hi Kye — thanks, this work is so important and it seems to me that you do it in such an unassuming and down-to-earth way.

  • kye

    Thanks Chris! You've made my day.

  • kye

    Thanks Chris! You've made my day.

  • http://thehalfwaypoint.net/ Belinda Munoz

    Hi Kye, releasing tension via visualization is not something I'm familiar with but I'm very intrigued! I will try this tonite.

  • Pingback: in meditation the posture can be corrected by the body's own wisdom()

  • Sandy_Powers

    Oh, this is awesome! I knew that I'd been all stressed lately, even to the point of not sleeping well, but this little exercise is going to stay with me and give me much help going forward! For me, my shoulders are so tight that they actually burn. I imagined the burning being transformed into a soothing, healing kind of warmth — kind of like Ben Gay — and I found my shoulders wanting to stretch with it in a relaxing kind of way, and it actually helps very much. I think I'll stop now for a while and explore this a little more :) Thank you, Kye!

Previous post:

Next post: