Soften around tension to let it go

Here, I distill some points from Geshe Michael Roach's book How Yoga Works:


It is easy to appreciate how yogic exercises develop self discipline of the body.  You may be surprised that they also discipline the mind.  Pick a spot to focus on while you hold the pose, such as an area of tension or heat.  Roach says that if you can bring a kind thought such as acceptance or appreciation to the "choke point", deciding to allow a safe degree of discomfort, the effect can be profound. The habit of focusing and fixing your mind during the poses carries over to every part of your day.  You may start to recognize other distinct sensations that come up as a product of strong emotions.  Have you ever felt your face grow hot from an emotion like anger?  (That’s a rise in your blood pressure.) Or have your noticed abdominal pain or indigestion as a part of stress or worry?  (That’s a sign your “fight or flight” response has shunted blood and nutrients away from the gut towards the arms and legs.  The digestive system stops working.) Similarly, try to soften around the area of discomfort during yoga exercise, bring a kind thought to it.  Gratitude works, for when we see bodily discomfort as a signpost for impending disease based on as shortfall of coping skills, we have the opportunity to intervene before much damage is done.   While you focus, keep your brow relaxed and keep a slight smile as you are establishing your strong mind/body connection! 


Know yourself.  Amaze yourself.  And keep moving!


-hb


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