Releasing Muscular Tension

Having to hunker down at home opens up a space for activities such as exploring ideokinesis in ‘constructive rest position’, a term that I learned from my mentor Irene Dowd many years ago. This may be very useful to offer to your students at this time – both for re-patterning movement and releasing excessive muscular tension.

I learned about ideokinesis, which is envisioning a specific action or line of movement happening in the body without actually moving the body. We did ideokinesis lying on our back with our knees bent, feet slightly apart so the knees fell towards each other (I prefer to simply place my lower leg on a coffee table or over a bolster) and hands resting by our side or resting on our abdomen.

The guided ideokinesis clip below has the focus of asking the muscles to get into the state of no-work, or neutral. It starts off with a quick explanation and then goes into a guided visualization of about 18 minutes.

Hoping that you and your students might find this useful in this stressful time! We need to arm our toolkits with many different strategies as you never know which one is going to be effective for our students (and ourselves). Try it – and if you are so inclined share your comments below.

To your success! Deborah

Guided Ideokinesis by Deborah Vogel
4 replies
  1. Melyssa Davis
    Melyssa Davis says:

    Thank you, Deborah. This is immensely helpful to me right now. I was specifically needing to release psoas tension but without force or strain only patience. Who knows what other relief I’ll experience from this practice today! I just love that I can learn this virtual practice without looking at a screen (audio only) and that you’ve invited us to use smaller pieces of the imagery throughout the day to release tension. The caution to not do it while driving really made me smile. An amazing piece that I will be returning to often. Sincere thanks. May you be safe and well also, and continue to find what serves you through your practice.


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