Posture and Tension

Put your feet on the floor comfortably. You may be sitting for five or ten minutes. Some days you my choose to spend more time. Crossing your legs may cause pressure points that are distracting. I like to put my hands in my lap with the palms up. I find that comfortable and relaxing in itself. These are all just common sense measures to reduce the distraction our body creates when we sit in the same position for a period of time.

Now tension is a somewhat more complicated issue. A lot of research says that we tend to collect the days tension in major muscle groups. You have probably noticed people making a fist when someone is pressuring them but the don’t feel free to speak back. Until released, the tension of that balled fist will remind them of their frustration. If they then try to meditate, that memory becomes a distraction. Here is one way to reduce tension.

Starting at the top of your head, become aware of any unnecessary tension. Likely places are around your ears, temples, jaw, neck, shoulders, biceps, wrists, fingers, chest especially the pectorals, your diaphragm, long muscles, of the stomach, lower abdomen, thighs, ankles and toes. If you become aware of tension, tighten the muscles involved, then release them. If you become aware of them tensing up again as you meditate, release them again.

The human response to relaxation of physical tension is a quieter soul. Once again, Christians generally do not attach any sort of spiritual significance to any of this other than withdrawing from the day’s turmoil in order to spend time focusing on God’s Presence. We do it as an act of faithfulness and of longing to be in an uncluttered relationship with the God we love.

Having said that, I really like this part. I feel clearer in my thinking and refreshed.


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