Simple yet handy metaphor for relaxing a stressed brain

I’m in a yin yoga class, lying on my yoga mat. A roll under my shoulders. The general idea is to open up my chest.

Breath in. Breath out.

There’s tension in my back and it’s very present. My muscles can’t seem to relax and instead continue to hold their grip. But there’s no need for it. I want them to lose their grip and fall off my spine like soft meat. But no…

Breath in. Breath out.

It bothers me. “Relax, dammit!”
Yeah, thát’ll work…

Breath in. Breath out.

I know the trick. I do. That doesn’t mean I’m able to get out of the resistance I’m in at that moment. Fortunately, stubbornness and perseverance can go both ways. The hard way, but also the gentle way. I choose the latter.

So, again. Breath in. Breath out.

I stay down. I continue to sense, feel and allow. The gentle approach this time. My muscles slowly surrender. With a little twitch here and there, but they do release. And then… floop… With a deep sigh, my whole back finally folds over the roll, like meat falling off the bone. Ah…

It’s exactly the same with the brain

As I lie there in my yin yoga pose, feeling like overcooked pulled pork, I have a giggle in my belly. What a fantastic visual and metaphor! It is exactly the same with the brain when it’s experiencing stress. When I can’t relax – and still try to, but in a pushy way – I wíll encounter resistance and móre tension instead. Plus, thoughts like: “Yes, but I still have to…!”. Or, “F**k this, I’m going to DO something”. Nope.

Breath in. Breath out.

A kind yet sturdy order from Self: lay down dear Frieda. Well, look at that, as I continue to focus on a gentle breath, not giving in, something is relaxing! Here and there still a convulsion in the form of unrest that bubbles up. But,

Breath in. Breath out.

The resistance slowly quiets down and stops intervening.

Breath in. Breath out.

And like meat falling off the bone, with a deep sigh, the tension in my brain sinks from my shoulders and into the lower abdomen. Silence…

Winter time. Perfect time.

Dark outside. Warm inside. Perfect time to change focus consciously and be like pulled pork. Re-charging and refueling. What relaxation works for you and makes you feel like pulled pork?