My neck muscles are perpetually tense. Ropy and taught, they often remind me of guitar strings hiding just below the surface of my skin. This tension, I have learned, is how I carry my sadness, how I carry my grief. Most of the time, I can massage out these knots or do a couple of slow head rolls and be on my way. But what about the source of my tension?
Sadness is a topic that doesn’t get the conversational weight it deserves. Anger, especially these days, functions as a call to arms. And stress? Stress is like litter - unwanted, often unwarranted, and truly unfortunate, but everywhere. It seems though, in my experience, that people are much less likely to say “Today my heart is heavy” or even an outright “today I am feeling sad.” Too often, we carry these feelings internally where they can manifest as negativity in the body. My neck muscles can certainly attest to this.
Fortunately, both meditation and yoga can offer counter measures. Certain poses, when done correctly, can open avenues of feeling without overwhelming the body. Though it is from the archives, Colleen Saidman Yee’s Yoga Journal post “Yoga for Inner Peace: 12 Poses to Release Sadness” could not be more prescient, given today’s climate. Give it a read. Give your body a chance to feel, and hopefully, to heal.