attention to tension

At some point in your practice, when you begin to go deeper you will start to tune in to areas of felt tension in the body. This tension manifests in a variety of different ways, a variety of "flavours": pins and needles perhaps, or pain, or localised tightness, a sense of internal swelling, or electricity, tension in its various guises. In the chi kung style of practice that I have learned  this tension is referred to as 'bin chi' (almost literally: 'rubbish energy') and we have outlets for this tension to leave the body, we press out through points in the fingers. In chinese medicine these points are referred to as 'departure points', and they are also around the toes: the extreme extremities of the body. 

From my massage practice I am familiar with the "flicking out" of tension that has been carefully prised out of stiff joints and tense tendons through gentle manipulation and tenderising. You can almost visualise it is a sticky substance that needs to come unstuck. 

When I asked my great yoga teacher Tias Little how one would help this tension escape the body in ones' yoga practice his answer included the direction of contacting our "inner pharmacy". In other words connecting with our deeper biological rhythms that govern us so wisely ,that possess degrees of intelligence we cannot fathom through intellectual persistence.

I think this is also a practice of trust, that the body is infinitely wise and capable. We cannot force tension out but we can recognise it's existence. And through softness, gentleness and kindness begin to watch the great unfolding.

Daring to let grace in. Daring to let go.