This post is for all of the people who tell me, but Clare, I can’t stretch at my desk! I’m the boss! I can’t get down on the floor and roll around, or put some Prince tunes on and dance around like you!
I know. Office etiquette is important, whether you are the CEO or the newest hire. Don’t let this stop you from stretching. If you have chronic shoulder tension, you are going to need to stand up for yourself, and your body. Take a 5 minute break from your computer every 25 minutes, go to the bathroom, and stretch out there!
I promise if you try this, you will experience tremendous relief and increased productivity.
It might surprise you that in addition to stretching I also advise activity that requires tension. A little tension in just the right places can be such a huge relief for our bodies. You can learn to expand, redirect, and redistribute tension more fully throughout your whole body anytime, anywhere.
Tension patterns can reset themselves, becoming more balanced, supportive, and expansive instead of localized, narrowing, and painful.
Here is an experiment designed to explore the relationship between attention and tension:
1) Quick: what part of your body are you most aware of right now?
Take a few moments to find out.
Chances are, whatever part of you comes to the fore, tension is gathered there. Did the tension start because your awareness went there, or was it the tension that brought your awareness to itself? Hard to say, right?
2) Expand your awareness to include the entire surface of your skin. That’s a huge expanse of tissue, so take a little time. Where is your skin touching air? Clothes? A chair, or the floor, or any other supporting surface? Yield yourself into that support, enjoying the contact and the sensory experience.
What happened to the tension you felt before? Did it change?
My experience is that when I expand my attention to take in the whole of me, tension dissipates. Since I’m still sitting here, however, there must be some tension somewhere! It’s just distributed differently. Muscles love to be used, and then released. Bodies love to move in the fullest range possible. So you really do need to get up from your chair, and no, standing at a desk all day is not a complete solution either.
Fully activating and energizing ourselves is a necessary part of releasing unwanted muscle tension. Tension properly distributed through your whole body doesn’t feel like tension anymore anyway. It feels light, fluid and effortless.
If you are suffering from patterns of localized chronic tension, I have a core curriculum of dynamic movement explorations that, done in the right frame of mind, can free you from those patterns. I’ve been working with this material for about 16 years now, and I totally trust its efficacy. I’ve tested it out on all different kinds of folks. It works.
////// HOW DO I FIND OUT IF YOUR WORK IS WHAT I NEED?:
////// FREE 15 MINUTE CONSULTATION: CALL ANYTIME OR COME BY THE STUDIO IN PERSON TO FIND OUT IF PRIVATE LESSONS OR WORKSHOPS ARE BEST FOR YOU.
////// OK, BUT THEN HOW MANY LESSONS SHOULD I HAVE, AND WHAT DO THEY COST?
– First lesson with full consultation, one hour 15 minutes: $135
– One lesson at a time, one hour, no commitment: $120
– 5 lesson package: $570 ($115 per lesson)
– 10 lesson package: $1100 ($110 per lesson)
– 20 lesson package/ongoing study: $2000 ($100 per lesson)
////// DRAT. I CAN’T AFFORD THAT MUCH EVERY WEEK:
– 5 lesson slots are available at $85 per lesson for those in need. If all those slots are full, I can put you on the waiting list. Please call!
////// CLICK HERE FOR MORE VIDEOS