In Yoga, we often cue to let go and release, to soften and to surrender. Even though, I feel that this is an important part of regaining balance in the body and life, it’s only part of the work and on its own only very limited in its effectiveness. The other part of the work is encouraging muscles that have lost their ability to hold onto energy, i.e. hypo-responsive muscles, to regain that skill and to thereby become fuller and more present. The muscles that are overworking, hyper-responsive muscles, benefit from letting go. However, hypo-responsive muscles have moved into a more collapsed state that does not benefit from releasing, as there is nothing to be released. The protection in those muscles is a distancing vs. a holding on. Inviting hypo-responsive muscles to soften encourages them to further move into collapse, i.e. further away from balance.
Those parts of ourselves that have gone away need kind encouragement to return. Working with dosage is a key aspect in the work. Gently inviting more aliveness to increase the capacity for holding onto energy is crucial.
The question is: What is missing? What is not present? And then to listen to the silent voices within.
I’d love to hear your reflections on your missing parts and the areas in the body that tend to go away.
Inspired by one of Merete Holm-Brantbjerg’s online presentations, I have been thinking about sustainability of change in a yogic and therapeutic environment. Change in that context has two components: 1) The opening up of something new and the gaining of access to new resources and skills. 2) The holding on to the new resources and skills that have been opened up.
The second aspect of change is about sustainability and it’s often the harder part. In my own process I have experienced transformation and gained new resources that I have subsequently lost again. Often the response to the loss is a “working harder”. However, this approach leads to areas in our bodies that are already in hiding to go away further, which in turn will lead to less of us being present. When we’re less present the skills of containment and orientation are lessened, too.
For me, the key to sustainable change is therefore to work with the areas in our bodies that have the tendency to give up, i.e. hypo-responsive areas, to teach them gently and slowly to hold more energy and thereby to increase our capacity for containment and safety. Contrary, working harder and forcing will actually move us further away from ourselves, as the ability to be present is reduced.
What has supported you in holding on to change?
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.