One-Minute Practice: Ease Jaw Tension

Bring your awareness to your face as you read this. Can you allow the muscles to soften? As you think to yourself that you’d like to soften your eyes, you don’t need to do anything. Just the intention will be enough for your nervous system to make a change.

Now think to yourself that you’d like to allow the cheek muscles to un-do whatever tension is held in them.

Bringing your attention to your jaw, think of letting the jaw rest easily. There is no need to hold it up toward your face. Let your lips rest together as you allow your teeth to slightly separate and the jaw to release muscular tension. Notice that your jaw muscles go way up toward your ears and think of allowing space in the temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ’s) near your ears.

You’d like to let your tongue rest easily in your mouth. Notice that the base of your tongue is way back toward the throat. Visualize, imagine or sense the throat having plenty of room. Allow your awareness to come into the layers of your neck muscles. Your neck goes from the base of the skull at the top all the way to the collarbones at the bottom. The muscles are varied, larger and smaller, some go on a diagonal, some go almost straight up and down. There are ligaments, tendons and tissues as well as muscle. Invite all of this to un-do any excess tension.

Now allow your breath to release with an soft Aah sound as you let your jaw to hinge open from that joint near your ears. Let the breath rebound in. Repeat a few times as you notice the ease of movement and sense of internal space just through your clear intention.

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