Tension has a way of following me around. I don’t think that this makes me unique, but it definitely makes me tense.
Little things pile up with me. Even if I don’t want to care about something, even if I want to be one of those easy people who lets things roll off her back, few things do. Rather, they lodge themselves in my back, knotting up my shoulders and around my spine in a way that makes masseuses shout “Oh my gosh!” when they touch them. And if I succeed at relaxing my back the tension just pings around to somewhere else, invading my forehead or ankles or ears.
I have never been good at releasing my jaw, which is problematic for singers. Voice teachers have tried to help me, Alexander teachers have tried to help me, and I have tried to help myself. But to no lasting avail.
Today during yoga the teacher led us through an extended relaxation. You know the type: feel your feet relax, feel your shoulders soften, etc. Half the time you feel like you’re playing “light as a feather, stiff as a board”. For whatever reason today, when she told us to relax our jaws, I did.
You know what? I immediately felt like I was drowning. This was not an “ahh isn’t this lovely” moment. This was a “what the heck is happening to me moment”. Even when the change is good, it still sometimes feels like it might kill me.