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Season 1 - Episode 11

Meditation for Releasing Tension

15 min - Practice


Jillian guides us in a meditation for easing tension. We begin with a progressive relaxation technique to help release surface tension before moving deeply into the breath to allow, soften, and let go.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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Welcome to meditation for easing tension. This is a perfect practice when you feel gripped tight in your shoulders, in your chest, and especially in your gut. We're going to use the technique called progressive relaxation to start off with, squeezing and releasing our muscles to let go of any excess surface tension. And then we're going to travel deep into the belly and allow our breath and our belly to grow softer and softer with each other. I love using Virasana, hero's pose, for this practice. That seat allows the pelvis to be neutral and also releases excess tension in the psoas muscle, which goes behind the gut and allows for a softer environment of the belly. But if this is not a comfortable seat for you on two blocks like this, you are welcome to sit in any way that you are most at ease, whether it's in a chair or on the ground. And you are also welcome to completely lie flat on the ground for this practice. I'll use an eyes closed meditation, but you are welcome to leave your eyes open if you prefer. To begin, gently stretch out your first three breaths a little bit longer than natural. And on each exhale, feel where you meet support under your body. On the exhale, feel where the blocks hold you up, where the ground holds you up. One more breath. Allow yourself to land on support completely. And then using a little squeeze and release, the upper body will make gentle fists. And on an inhale, you'll squeeze your arm muscles, draw your shoulders up to your ears, scrunch up your face. On a long exhale, let go of everything. Do that two more times. You can even add the belly and torso on this one. On the inhale, squeeze the whole upper body. Exhale, let everything soften completely. Body lands on the ground. One more time, just like that. Everything releases. And then we'll do the lower body, the belly, the seat, the thighs. On an inhale, squeeze the whole lower body. Completely release it on the exhale. Two more times on your breath. Squeeze everything tight. Release on the exhale entirely. And one more time. Exhale at all your weight, drop onto support.

Placing your right hand over your belly, leaving your left palm on your legs, your thighs, maybe the ground. Palm down for grounding. And if you prefer, you can place the palm face up if you'd like more expansion. With your body weight more heavy on the ground, on your blocks and the floor, bring your awareness underneath your palm and your belly. Imagine the breath filling the space between your palm and your back. Breath will gently caress, soften your belly. The breath will gently help to untangle everything it meets. Any tension it finds will be gently met by a caring breath. So can you imagine your breath being received by a softening belly? Can you welcome your breath with a softening belly? When one drop of water meets another, it's a merging. It's a unification. So if you can imagine your liquid breath merging with your ocean belly, your liquid breath merging with your watery belly. We're gonna add a little mantra for the next few moments on each inhale, mentally chant soft. And on each exhale, mentally chant belly. As you keep your awareness in where your belly and breath are merging, inhaling soft, exhaling belly, soft, belly. You can continue to use that mantra if it's helpful, or you can just rest with your natural breath and feel your body on the ground as you continue to follow your breath down into your belly. Just imagining how the caring breath meets any tension it finds. Just allow your nourishing, loving breath to saturate your belly completely as your body rests on the ground. Allowing the soft belly to liquefy and pull down into the basin of your pelvis. So there's no need to work in your belly anywhere. There's no effort needed, effortless belly. Seat supported, legs supported, liquid belly being rippled by your breath. Shoulders dripping down from your ears. Ears dripping towards the floor. Jaw unhinged. For these last few moments on your own as you rest with your body weight on the ground, as you allow your breath to ripple through your belly. Allow your jaw to be at ease and just notice the environment in your mouth continually softening your tongue, softening the roof of your mouth. So as your belly softens the whole environment of your jaw, your mouth, and your whole face. Just to practice feeling supported and being at ease in our body where we don't need to grip and we tend to have the impulse to grip throughout the day. So we're going to practice as we come out of this meditation, just keep the sense of being on the ground. Feel your breath under your hand. We'll practice gently, slowly opening the eyes. Just notice if there's an impulse to tighten anywhere. And see if you can practice for a few moments being on the ground with your breath, as relaxed as possible in your belly, those habitual areas of tension, your shoulders, your jaw, your face. So that as you move back out into your activity, you get a little bit more clear about when you have the impulse to harden or when you find yourself gripping in the belly, shoulders, the face. You can use a few breaths very deliberately to reground yourself all over again and soften your belly. The practice is not to stay soft, it's to return, to re-relax all over again and again and again all day long. So to close, bring your hands to Anjali Mudra. May you feel grounded and soft as you move back out into your day. Namaste.


Rylla R
1 person likes this.
Jill, I so enjoyed this. It was exactly what I needed this morning. I tried meditating early as usual and my mind was all over the place. Did some yoga, then this. And ahhh... Thank you and I look forward to sharing a version of it with my students. 🙏🏼
1 person likes this.
Rylla Thank you so much for practicing with me this morning. I"m glad that it worked for you. And love to know that you will share a version with your students! We are in this together. Love jillian

Sandra Židan
Hi, Jillian! I recently found this show and I really like this meditation! Thanks!
2 people like this.
Sandra I'm so glad you found it! And even more happy to know that you are enjoying it. Thank you. 

Barbara L
1 person likes this.
Wunderful! You have such a beautyful, soothing and calming voice! Thank you very much!!!
1 person likes this.
Barbara L Wunderful! So glad you enjoyed it. Wishing you a healthy and easeful new year.

Jen P
1 person likes this.
Fantastic! I’m very curious about this series. I will make my way through the other videos. I will remember these intentions if I feel anxious again. So, thank you!
Roslyn G
This was truely a relaxing practice.  I will be doing this meditation again.
Jen P So happy this resonated with you. Hope you made your way through some of the other videos. With peace, jillian
Roslyn G So glad you found this a relaxing practice.  Thank you for sharing. With peace, Jillian

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