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Power of the Tongue



Most of us remember being taught that it's rude to stick out the tongue at someone. But when it comes to making connections throughout the whole of our neurological system, the tongue is a key player in helping us connect the dots.


Connection

To maintain optium health, the oral segment of the body, our mouth, needs stimulation from chewing, yawning and sucking. Sucking is the first pattern a child learns as a new born baby. Sucking stimulates saliva, and the reflex of swallowing. This creates movement releasing tension inside the jaw and the throat that continue travelling to other areas of the body.


Mobilisation

By practising specific movements of the tongue both inside and outside of the mouth, we are able to connect directly both to our breathing as well as to other parts of the body via the nervous system. This can be explored more deeply in some of the Yoga Immersions, July, Oct, Dec.


Conditioning

We are all familiar with an animal sticking out its tongue when yawning and stretching the whole body in a manner of movement known as pandicaluation. See Somatics However when it comes to exploring the sensation of movement in our own tongue we tend to be inhibited by the restraints of that old conditioning, that it's somehow wrong to use the tongue as an outward demonstration, as a form of expression. On some level this can cause us to clamp the mouth and tighten the jaw, which for many of us becomes a default of our facial expression. "A face like sucking a lemon"


Resistance

In yoga we are able to discover the deeper meaning and come to understand better, both the sensations around the tongue area that are relative to pain in the whole body as well as discomfort that may be felt by muscular holding patterns not just in the mouth and jaw but throughout our whole organism.


Pain

These patterns of tension cause repetitive motions such as grinding the teeth, tightening one side of the jaw more than the other, automatic pulling in or twisting of muscles on one side of the body from injuries, like falling off a bike, tripping over, car crash trauma, surgery etc the list is endless. How this manifests is personal to each individual, we each hold our own stories in the muscles and bones of the body. In other words the body never forgets an experience.


Breath and Balance

Holding patterns have a knock on effect to how breath moves and whether we have a tendancy to hold the breath when in pain, overthinking, stressed, or in shock or how our posture compensates when we walk in an attempt to balance out tension from old patterns of literally trying to hold it all together.


We may notice problems in the ever changing structure of the feet and how that may impact the way we walk, the way we feel movement and sensation in the pelvis as theyt often mirror the shoulders, as well as inside the mouth. Slow walking can help us re-connect through the feet to be more balanced on the earth and how that serves to ease mobilisation. And we may also notice here how the feet connect to the mouth thrugh the neurological pathways. Slow walking is something we practice in Qigong.


New Neurological Pathways

Sometimes, after a major incident in life we may have to relearn how to do everything again. Like opening a jar may become a novel form of proprioception, as we discover new ways to move the body as well as the breath. This may be a completely different pproach and brand new challenge and one we may have taken for granted or ignored until that moment of being willing to accept and welcome change as a necessary part of supporting our changing needs.


When new movement becomes easefully habitual it brings elation, confidence and sense of well-being such as following a struggle with depression from chronic pain.


Our brains hold maps of our body and its experiences. We are able to expand those maps as they offer benefit for emotional health and in some wild ways, can help us remap the experiences that may be at the root cause of our pain, dysfunction and holding patterns.


Interested in exploring the concept of sensation as pathways to a deeper connection through the neurological pathways to a greater sense of how awareness of 'internal posturing' can help bring relief and release in aspects of your yoga practice? Click the Immersives link below.



Immersives: Saturday 1330-1630 July 28, Oct 12, Dec 7

Tythe Barn, Pondtail Road, Horsham RH12 5JF - FREE on site parking




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