Class #4642

Release Eye Tension

15 min - Class


Let's increase circulation and release tension around your eyes, forehead, and skull. Christi Idavoy will teach you to move gently, mindfully, and most importantly with love for yourself. With slowing down and self-massage you will explore the sensations of releasing and letting go. You will feel bright and fluid.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Aug 27, 2021
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Hi, thanks for tuning in. What we're going to do right now is a little self-massage release for our forehead, increase circulation around our eyes, our optic nerve, and also through our skull. We're gonna give ourselves a bit of a treat here. So we'll start lying on our stomach. And as you've come to lie on your mat, when we're lying on the stomach, we really wanna make sure that we're comfortable as usual.

And also that we feel like we're taking advantage of the floor and really using it to smooth out the front of the body. So get all of the fidgeting out so that you feel very comfortable. And as you come down, notice your hands stack, your forehead comes onto your hands. And sometimes we need to make adjustments there so that the nose is not pressing into the ground. And also so that the back of the neck doesn't feel like it's compressed, or cranky.

Sometimes we have to gently slide the chin towards the chest a bit, and honestly just keep fidgeting around until you feel as comfortable as possible lying flat on your stomach. Notice your legs and the direction of your heels, of the heel bones. We can tuck the skin, the thighs, inward so that our knees and our toes roll in and our heels gently roll outward. Now, if any of these suggestions create discomfort, then please always choose what's most comfortable for you. And we're just gonna take a moment to feel our breath in this position.

Inhaling slowly and fully and noticing as you do the contact and the movement of your breath, the feedback that you receive from the ground. And as you exhale, allow your body to release and your chest to fall through your shoulders, feeling that the head increases in weight. Inhaling slowly and fully. (Christi inhaling deeply) Noticing, is it the abdomen, the chest and shoulders, the back that expands. And as you exhale, really releasing through your head, letting your chest fall through your arms, sensing the weight through the abdominal and pelvic area.

Just taking one more fuller and slower breath. (Christi breathing deeply) And encourage your breath to come in even a little bit slower as you inhale. You've got the control of how much air comes in at once. Notice how your body rises and you expand. And as you're exhaling, very gently allow your head to start rolling off to the side.

Just staying really heavy, just gently feeling like it's melting over to the side. As you inhale again, sense the rise, feel how the breath travels up, roll the head back through center. And as we exhale, we allow ourselves to release and roll onto our other side. Inhale slowly to make your way back to center. (Christi inhaling deeply) And exhale slowly to roll off it.

(Christi exhaling deeply) And now notice the massage that you're offering your forehead with the knuckles and the bones of your hands. Also offering the hands a massage with the forehead. And if you're curious and you don't really sense too much, you can slide your hands apart just a little bit more so that you do get more of the knuckles just in line with your eyebrows. And you notice when and where you might find areas that are extra sensitive. The more you take your time and release with every exhale, the slower you go, the more you'll sense areas, right?

It's like our mind needs the time to be able to interpret the subtleties that the tissues are showing. So every time that you exhale, keep reminding yourself, you can let go a little further. You can explore putting your finger right in line with your eyebrow. It's your skull, it's your forehead, it's your body. Take the liberty, have the freedom to change things, to explore the sensations that arise when we make these subtle changes.

Sometimes when we find these areas that are extra intense, we might notice that our shoulders tense up, that our glutes, or our thighs tighten. Be mindful of not hanging out in the discomfort long enough that rest of your body's accumulating tension. Instead, find the way to gently approach it. Sneak up into these spots you might find, breathe into them and only stay for as long as you're able to let go throughout your whole body. It might not feel like the point of tension actually lets go.

But other areas of tension in the body will. We may not magically get rid of a trigger point that we might find in our brow line right now, but we can hang out, rock back and forth on it, in the tiniest movement and breathe. Relax your eyes, relax your jaw. Think of this as an eye brightening treatment. A smoothing out of the expression lines on the forehead and in the hands.

Our forehead and our hands tell so many stories about us. (Christi breathing deeply) As we exhale, we let go. (Christi exhaling deeply) And now when you feel ready, you'll make your way to the center with your head on your hands. We'll bring our forehead to the mat this time with the chin slightly tucked in and our palms will come next to our chest, very much next to the ribs underneath the chest so that they're not under the shoulder, but they're closer to the chest. Inhale and glide the shoulders up towards the ears.

And if your low back started to get a bit cranky, you can bend your knees as well. And as you exhale, gently roll the shoulders away from the ears and let the feet move down towards the mat. If your feet are comfortable on the mat and you wanna leave them there, then leave them there. Inhale, glide the shoulders up, exhale, glide the shoulders down. And we'll do that one last time and notice that when you're gliding your shoulders down away from your ears, it naturally presses your palms into the earth.

Start to separate your forehead and nose from the mat, just a tiny bit and pause, inhale. As you exhale, press your pubic bone into the mat, and now send the low ribs in as well to keep lifting through the back of your shoulders. But noticing that your lift is happening from pushing down in your hands, pelvis and low ribs. Hold it here for one more breath. And on the following exhale, now your knees will press down, lift your tailbone up and fold back into Child's Pose for just a moment.

Use your arms to press the earth away to gently send your pelvis down. Let your head release through the mat, inhale while you're here and exhale, releasing your shoulders and your elbows and face. And on your following breath, very gently move forward onto your elbows and knees, now, coming onto the forearms. And now the trick here, the key here is to keep your weight mostly in your forearms and in your elbows. And we're going to sit back again towards our Child's Pose, bring the forehead or the hairline, the third eye center, So just underneath your hairline, forehead onto the mat, and then gently start rolling over into the center.

And you wanna be cautious because it might feel so good to stretch your neck this way and that you wanna do more of it. Try to avoid that, right? So it's like, it can be a very rich experience, just like any rich, rich chocolate or dessert. We don't want to have too much of it 'cause then it ruins the treats, right? It ruins the delight of the richness of something.

So as you're rolling over your third eye into your crown chin rolls into the chest, and again, you wanna have weight in your head so that you can massage the crown from the forehead, the hairline to the crown and beyond, but just be respectful of what your body is feeling, what your neck is telling you. If you don't have a headstand practice, if you don't have a lot of hours in your life of being on your head, definitely put more weight into your arms, explore this slowly. And now with so much love and care for ourselves, we'll sit back onto the forehead and inhale only go far enough so you're still on your forehead. Your hands can come onto the mat now and just slide out a little wider away from your head. This time, you're just gonna gently roll to one side.

Look over at the opposite hand, use the hands to press into the floor to roll you back to center and over to the other side. So I'm really mindful of keeping myself heavy of keeping my muscles at ease. I'm not doing anything other than pressing the ground away with my arm to encourage the roll that happens through my skull and my neck. And again, sometimes it's like, "Oh my God, this is so good, it feels so good." Be really conscious of your breath, of not staying anywhere for too long, especially if there's lots of sensation. It doesn't matter if the sensation is interpreted as good or bad.

If there's a lot of sensation, you wanna pull away from it, don't move towards it. And then when you feel ready, this rocking from side to side motion is going to become a circle. So we'll rock to one side. Your hands can step forward now, more in line with your skull. Rolling through the center onto the crown, around the other side, through your forehead and pause and center, inhale.

Exhale, press through one arm, roll the head back in the opposite direction. It rolls around and over on the crown, back around to the side and center again. And if it's getting too heavy or it's a lot to manage, bring your knees in a bit closer. Go back to just rocking from side to side. Again, really play, be curious.

You can use your hands and diagonals. You can come up with different ways to explore releasing trigger points on the skull. Releasing accumulated tension that occurs from all the stimulation that the mind through the eyes is taking in. Rolling back and forth. Maybe exploring diagonals.

I'd love to hear in the comments about your explorations with this skull release. My students like to call it the rolling your brain out. And in a moment, you'll see why. We'll just spend one moment longer, one more breath here. And then when you feel satisfied, you'll take yourself back into Child's Pose.

The most comfortable Child's Pose for you in this moment, maybe arms overhead, maybe hands stacked under forehead, maybe hands at the feet, whatever your preference is in this moment. And just breathe. (Christi breathing deeply) And on one of your inhales, gently roll your tailbone down towards the ground. Pretend your head wants to stay low. And we're gonna stack our spine to sitting tall on our heels coming up so slowly, inhale and exhale.

Take your time to get up there. If sitting on your feet is not really a comfortable option for you, you can sit with your legs crossed, crisscrossed or even one leg out to the side. However you feel is the most comfortable. Find a seat, close your eyes, and just take a moment and notice the space around your head. (Christi breathing deeply) Releasing the expression on the face, noticing the sensation around your eyes and how it travels down the back of the neck.

And when we're ready on one of our inhalations, we'll reach the arms up and over the head, hook the thumbs up there, look up at your fingers, open your eyes up. Stretching all the way out, maybe pulling the shoulders behind the head, if that feels comfortable and safe. And then as we exhale, bringing the hands back down and having a rest. Drink a lot of water to keep reaping the benefits of bringing all this fluid back up to the brain.

Mindful Movement: Movement is Medicine


Lynn C
2 people like this.
Thank you Christi for this little gem of a class. I never realized how much tension you could hold in your forehead. Will be incorporating these exercises more often into my day.
Cynthia G
1 person likes this.
Wow. That really helped.  Had surgery to nose area to remove skin cancer.  Was gentle with myself but I could really feel how I have been holding tension in my forehead and eyes.  Thank you.  This will become part of my practice, thanks to you and PA.
1 person likes this.
Wow, who knew I carried so much tension in my forehead! That was lovely Christi. Thank you. Can I ask where these movements come from/ what your influences are? 
Charlotte F Yes! Our heads need release too! My influences on these classes are from my yoga training in the lineage of Swama Rama and also loads of Feldenkrais and Somatic work I've done in the last 20 years. Thank you for asking!

Cynthia G wow, thank you for sharing. I am very grateful you found relief.

Lynn C Amazing! A little bit goes a long way.

Christi Idavoy Thanks so much Christi. I'd love to learn more :)
Laura Maria
lovely! felt so open around my forehead and eyes after
Gurvinder B
Thanks Christi so gentle and yet so profound. 😍 loved it
I loved this class!  Was amazed at the space and lightness I felt around my head at the end of the session.  Thanks so much Christi.  
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