Do You Lead With Your Jaw?

When life is not what I want, I feel a huge emotional need to clench my jaw. I just want to grind my teeth. I’m frustrated and I have to express this frustration through body tension.

That’s one of the principle ways I know myself — through my layers of body tension. As I’ve learned to let them go over the past few years, I’ve journeyed into a new land and found a new me.

Jan Batty gave a radio interview on the Alexander Technique: “Think about how many millions of times we nod our heads. How we nod our head either frees the spine or brings more tension. When most people nod their head, they lead with their jaw. If you do lead with your jaw, even gently, you create a whole pattern of tension through your body, just like pushing down on a rubber ducky under the water in the bath tub.”

“If you let the desire for the movement to come from the top of the head, that allows a beautiful sliding and gliding on your top joint, which is between your ears.”

“Most people nod their head starting from the jaw, tightening the neck… When you add this body tension, you’re taking away from your emotional availability to life and creating anxiety and extra stress.”

“Decide to receive with our eyes. Sight comes to our eyes. We receive into deep pools. Instead, we push our eyes out to see or to think. That stiffens our whole body. If we only received the image into soft eyes and let that feed our whole body kinaesthetically, that would turn around how we function through the day. The interference is staring or holding or tightening or over-working in the eyes.”

“Notice what happens to yourself when you do that.”

“I didn’t tell a student that if he continues with this, he’ll find a lot of things in his life begin to change. He told me, ‘I’m noticing that when I’m in class and I’m sensing myself with more ease, my learning is changing. I’m appreciating more things. I’m noticing things that are beautiful. I’m relating to my friends differently.’”

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