I was laying on the table face up, my arms stretched out in a T, like Jesus on the crucifix.
Inhale. Exhale. I rotated my arms forward.
Inhale. Exhale. I rotated them backward.
While I did that, Carlos, my physical therapist, pressed his fists into my pecs to release them.
In case it needs to be said:
This was not comfortable.
“Knarly” was the word he used to describe the muscles.
He moved on to the neck, pressing and pulling as I moved in different directions. And then the the masseter muscle — behind my ear and around my jaw.
That’s when the pain got real. Like bringing-me-to-the-brink-of-tears real.
Let it go. You don’t need to hold onto this anymore.
He was right.
I called on my yin yoga practice: meeting my edge with stillness and compassion. Breathing into it. Acknowledging. Allowing.
Releasing a little at a time. Softening.
My hip, which had begun to seize up in reaction to the intensity of the pain.
It’s all connected.
Mind. Body. Emotion. Spirit.
The process of rebuilding my body mechanics isn’t as simple as doing exercises to strengthen weak muscles.
To strengthen those weak muscles I must first learn how to activate them.
To activate them I must first be able to access them.
To access them I must get rid of what’s blocking them.
What’s blocking them are the muscles that guard and protect. They’ve been doing this job for years.
We store things in our bodies. Emotions. Experiences. Traumas. Fears. Our own stuff. Others’ stuff.
Layers and layers of energy stack for years. Our muscles clench and grip to protect us.
Tony Robbins says,
The walls that protect you imprison you.
Changing my body’s patterns is like all other change.
Destroy to create.
De-struction. Removing the structure.
Tearing down. Breaking apart.
Only then can rebuilding begin.
We create space, then train the body how to move safely within that space.
This work is uncomfortable. Sometimes painful. But in the end, it will bring freedom of movement.
It begins with a willingness to let go.