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Hand on head, neck, heart and belly

– to contain feelings and reduce tension in the body

This is a soothing and holding exercise with our hand on head, neck, heart and belly to reduce tension in the body. We just place a hand on our forehead. If you find that your arm starts to ache, you can prop it up on something. You might need to find a position or a support where you can maintain this. 

You need a long spine and your chin tucked in so you’re not falling forward into your hands. With the other hand at the back of the head, cup the base of the skull and let your shoulders drop. You can close your eyes and just notice your breath. This is a good way to hold yourself when you feel you need to, when things feel uncontained and overwhelming. 

Choose one of your hands to place on the top of your head. And just be curious of what hand you chose and which hand stayed in place. 

Then move a hand to the heart and another hand to the belly. And just breathe into both hands. 

You may feel you want quite a heavy touch with your hands. Try this with some weight, so you can feel some resistance. This can be quite comforting and soothing. You may feel you want more of a free-flowing, lighter touch, as if you’re barely making contact, so that your breath can flow into the hands in this space. We can intuit what we want. What feels more holding? 

Choose a hand to place on your forehead and just notice what hand you’ve left behind. We work with a sense of play and curiosity, how did your body know to move that hand, and breathe into the hand that’s left behind. Bring the other hand up onto the back of the head where we started. 

Next very slowly take your hands away, but imagine that they’re still there holding you. Just imagine and feel them. 

You can create a new somatic memory. As you engage back with your environment, still have a sense of your hands on your body being held. How does it feel even imagining it, and bringing up this somatic memory? How does it change your breath, and your sense of groundedness? 

Finally, allow your body to take any movement it wants to take with the thought that often, tension is the precursor to movement. If we allow ourselves to move when we need to move, it can release that tension.