The Bow - yes, you do look insane

Human beings, masculine ones especially, store tension in the body and often in the front of their bodies. Frowning, squinting, raising the eyebrows, grimacing, clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth – emotional tension manifested in the muscles of the face and neck. Slouching and rounded shoulders, this is tightness in the chest and abdominal region and even the hips.

Self-development then requires that we get into our bodies, if we are to shed unwanted emotional patterns and replace them with powerful ones. There are many ways to go about this. Below is an exercise for releasing tensions in the body that have been stored up over time. Done daily, this can undo years of chronic tension – which as a personal trainer I have come across a lot. It’s through undoing this massive tension that I saw people’s lives change in other ways and what helped give birth to me coaching people in the way I do now.

Emotions are born and triggered in the brain, but they are stored and ‘live’ in the muscles. This is why emotional dysfunction can actually be trained into the body in poor exercise habits or repeated physical activities.

Note that this exercise can be quite dramatic and emotional. Don’t be surprised if you find it to be very moving for you if you follow all the instructions correctly. And also don't be surprised if nothing really 'happens' the first one or two times you try it.

The Bow

With your feet shoulder witch apart or slightly wider, reach up with both arms to the sky. Now lean back slowly and gently until your body naturally wants to stop. Don’t strain your back. You may notice you being to tremble.

Open your hands as much as possible to splay your fingers out wide and straighten your arms. Keeping your eyes up and looking up at the ceiling, open your mouth now as wide as you can to release tension in the jaw. Breathe through your mouth.

You’ll notice tightness in your belly and maybe your hips, biceps, hands. Where ever you feel that tension, breathe into that part of your body with deep powerful breathes through the mouth. If you make sound with your voice, let it happen. Encourage it.

Yes, you do look and sound insane.

Don't worry about it. It means you're doing it right. That crazy feeling is actually what you're looking for. That's where the releasing happens.

Keeping everything as open as possible – eyes, mouth, hands, chest - feel the entire front your body open and the tension release. Feel and see it - whatever it looks like to you - leaving your body as you breathe it out.

Now gently return to a natural standing position.

Do this for 2-5 minutes every day. Longer if you want. But do it every day. Do it when you're feeling upset about something.

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