Why do I find most movement instructions so hard to read?

„Somatic Movement Education teaches you how to release, lengthen and completely relax habitually contracted muscles.” – quote from a high-end therapy website

Despite my love for reading good diction, I hardly make it through the first few paragraphs of most movement instructions.

My problem is „good diction.” Language that is well formed, instructions that can actually be followed, and lessons that are useful for my own life.

I couldn’t make it past of what I quoted at the beginning of today’s post. Whatever else there is to read on that website, I didn’t get to it. I was thrown off. I had to stop and think about it. And I already spent more than two hours writing and deleting and re-writing and deleting, and trying to finally write something I wouldn’t delete. I’m looking for the culprit, I simmer the can of tomato juice down to a thick broth. That wasn’t the right image. Let me try this: I do gold panning, I pan the gravel to find the nugget:

  1. How to release, lengthen and completely relax habitually contracted muscles.
  2. How to completely relax habitually contracted muscles.
  3. How to completely relax muscles.

There’s just no way to completely relax muscles other than cutting them off from the nervous system, like in an amputation. And even then they will stiffen up and go into Rigor Mortis within a few hours.

In fact, just last week I saw a guy dozing off on a flattened sun lounger next to the pool. A muscular fellow, I guess: three times a week two hours at the gym. He was lying flat on his belly, head slightly turned to a side, a neck like my leg’s quadriceps in its best days. He looked like sleeping, but his legs and arms and fingers were held in a way that were clearly tense. If it was my client my first lesson would be to learn how to lie down without holding that much habitual tension. I wonder how these people sleep at night, with a residual muscle tone greater than what I can show for at the gym. But then, I’m not into workout programs, cocaine and hard stimulants, what do I know about rich business people’s problems.

I shift my thoughts to think about my friends who are into Yoga and positive thinking. I reason „completely relaxed” must be a figure of speech. A phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetorical effect. A compassionate, flowery image to help people wind down and restore, to find their inner goddess and guidance from higher self.

It keeps nagging.

I can’t sugarcoat it. I can’t give it a pass. Call me stubborn, but this will not go down my throat.

Nobody alive ever completely relaxed any of their muscles AND kept them on the body. Ok, I agree, nobody ever teleported, and nobody every competed in a game of Quidditch, and yet we can imagine it, talk about it, and work with it in the form of feelings, inner posture, and reveries. On Dec 14, 2020 a group of BASE jumpers recreated a game of Quidditch from Harry Potter and leaped off a 650ft mountain on broomsticks.

And even if there was a way to completely relax muscles, how could they be lengthened and relaxed at the same time? And released where? Into all that I AM? Released from all assignments?

I don’t know how to overcome that sentence. Maybe it’s not my muscles, maybe it’s my brain that needs to fully relax. Maybe I should head back to that website and register for their classes to find out how.