12.02.05: AT Lesson: Back AT It!

Finally we were able to get back to our AT lessons. After Jim's surgery Wendy had surgery herself for a knee replacement, so she had been laid up for a while. She has been back to teaching for a few weeks, but our schedules have just not worked out to get back to lessons until today. I am very happy to be back! I feel like I have regressed since our last lesson, but there has been a lot of stress going on so it is understandable. It is a long trek for me to change some of my tension related patterns. When you live with them, it is very difficult to simply turn them off.
We spent some time catching up on how we were both doing, especially how Jim has progressed since his surgery. He is doing so well, it is amazing to notice how easily he is moving and the fact that he doesn't struggle to get through daily things anymore. He doesn't come home exhausted and grumpy from pain. He's able to do things that we enjoy and not end up in pain after a very short time. The change is thrilling.
Wendy set to work with me as I told her that I was finding it interesting to experiment with releasing the tension from my tongue and trying to find a 'natural' position that feels comfortable. I noticed that it was uncomfortable to keep my tongue relaxed and close my teeth, and when I commented on it, Wendy let me know that it wasn't normal to do that anyway! I was a bit relieved to find that out it shouldn't be comfortable! She worked with me to experiment with finding a more comfortable tension free feeling without focusing too much on any one part. I told her that if I focused on keeping my tongue relaxed, that despite the fact that my teeth weren't clamped shut I could feel tension creeping back in after a short time. She helped me to find a way to continue finding other areas to release to keep the focus shifting so no single area doesn't get draw tension in by having too much focus on it. When you think too much, it results in the muscles becoming tense by default anyway.
She was really able to help me find some relaxation and release the tension that cramps my shoulders and neck and back so badly. The sense of ease when everything is released is amazing. I can't wait until the old patterns are chipped away enough that I feel like that all the time!
She set to work on Jim, helping him to also release his neck and shoulders. He commented that he felt like his right shoulder was drooping, when in fact it was more the result of what his left side pattern from the pain. Over the course of his healing he was able to rebalance himself a great deal, but he still had some residual unevenness. He also explained that he would catch himself standing with all his weight on his right side to get away from the left hip. His brain hasn't yet fully comprehended that the left hip is strong now, and so it still continues to "protect" that side. I find it fascinating that our bodies can't always release those patterns when they are no longer useful or beneficial, and in fact, over time, will do their own harm. She worked him through much of the imbalance, and then helped him to stand up and begin moving around the room again. He found a level of relaxation and ease that was really great to watch, but felt very strange to him. Again, our bodies cling so tight to what is familiar, even if it is far from ideal for our mechanics and health. 
We both left feeling refreshed and more at ease again. I am very much looking forward to getting back into this work so that I can change the patterns that plague me.