Yoga for the Face, Eyes, Ears, and Jaw with Tias Little

tias littleThis post is part of a series about my experience at the SF Yoga Journal Conference in January 2014.

The title of this session was by itself enough to get me through the door. Rarely do the head and neck region get the attention they deserve in yoga classes, much less a savasana (corpse pose) that truly relaxes these parts of the body. A full 2 hours dedicated to these stress pockets… I’m in!

Tias immediately caught everyone’s attention by talking about jaw tension. He described the many causes attributable to this tightness – some being rather obvious like the time we spend looking at screens, while others needed more explanation. For example, when we withhold emotions like anger and fear, they get trapped in the body and show up in our jaw. The jaw is like the lid that holds it all in. Boy, ain’t that the truth!

Tias led us through a much-anticipated meditation focusing on releasing the stored up tension we hold in our neck and head. Then, he said something so profound to me: “small movements help re-calibrate the nervous system.” Not only was this wisdom highlighted in the simple exercises he taught us, it was also mirrored throughout my experience at the conference. I began to notice a common thread of this notion of slowing down and becoming more mindful in all my therapeutic classes.

Another thing I found interesting about Tias Little’s class was that he said the hip and jaw are paired. Because my hip had been causing me a lot of pain lately, this really resonated with me – I have since become much more aware of the tension I hold in my jaw. In my latest visit with my massage therapist I asked for myofascial work on my face, and it did wonders!

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