Crack N Roll
“Okay,” said my Yoga teacher in her husky, lulling voice. “I would like you to roll your shoulders back and just loosen all of those muscles.”
I rolled in a lolling, husky sort of way …. and was startled to hear the sound of someone cracking a tree branch in my neck.
I jerked my head up and looked around.
Next to me an elderly-ish Yogi raised his eyebrow as if to say, “check me out. I don’t crack. And I’m eighty.”
I turned my head to the front thinking, he wasn’t cracking! Why was I cracking?
I rolled again and sure enough there was another weird sound in my shoulder blade. This time it was a mix between a foot grinding on gravel with a stick being snapped over one’s knee.
This was very, very disconcerting.
“Stop DOING IT!” Ads laired at me after I’d gotten home and given him several demonstrations of my cracking neck whilst shoulder rolling. “The more you will do it, the worse it will get.”
He was right. My shoulder and neck now ached with that same dull pain you get in your head if you eat too much ice-cream. Why was continually cracking it so weirdly satisfying, though? I did one more roll-n-crack and then sheepishly shuffled upstairs and dropped an email to my wonderful, angel of a masseur at Seven Sisters Serenities to say that my neck needed some attention. Unfortunately Yasmin had appointments all week, so I booked the next available slot.
That slot was today.
Sitting in Yaz’s cosy therapy room whilst the wind and rain swirled and bashed against the window, I explained about my crackiness. I then went on to talk some things in my personal and professional life are making me feel like I’ve had both hands chopped off at the wrist.
“I feel blocked in this area,” I explained, “and totally like my energy is scattered over here. I have no idea what the outcomes are in anything and it’s making me feel really stuck, disempowered and out of control. Then,” I added, “there’s the world events and all this stuff with He Who Shall Not Be Named.”
You all know who I’m talking about.
“Don’t mention that man’s name in this room!” cried Yasmin, throwing her hands over her face. “I can’t have his name even mentioned in here.”
“Okay, I won’t. But it’s just everywhere, isn’t it?” I replied, puffing out my cheeks. “Facebook’s newsfeed is full of it. There’s a massive difference between being informed and fully immersed every second the day. Everything I hear about the world also makes me feel powerless and ineffective.”
This conversation continued for a bit and then it was time for me to slip under the warm, toasty blankets and towels on the table and have my massage. The lights were lowered. The beautiful, tropical Zen spa music stilled my thoughts as the smell of aromatherapy oil softened my breathing and Yaz’s soft voice guided me deeply into relaxation.
My thoughts glided gently over the conversation we’d been having; being stuck, being disempowered, feeling utterly out of control and alignment.
While I mind-glided, Yaz worked on my face and sinuses. Then my jaw line. Then she worked my shoulders and at one point manoeuvred my head forwards, stretching my neck. As she did, a flood of energy moved up my spine and into my lower skull and a dawning of insight came to me. It was this:
The voice/insight/perception wasn’t as cut throat as this, but what I’ve written above was the general flavour.
This was followed by:
I listened to the perception/insight and let out a soul sigh.
By this time Yasmin was working on my arms, kneading, gently pulling and pressing.
“Let them relax” she murmured.
I consciously let my arms surrender, previously unaware that I’d even been holding them tight.
And this is the thing with our bodies, our mind sets, our attitudes.
Often, its only when we are asked to surrender and let go that we even realise that we’ve been holding on.
It’s only when we allow ourselves to sink into trust that we are aware of how firmly we’ve been holding our position.
By the time Yasmin reached my legs, I’d drifted off into some tropical jungle paradise in my mind, where butterflies flitted and light invisible beings with massive smiles and willowy bodies were playing panpipes.
Eventually the session was complete.
Outside, in the howling wind and rain, Ads was waiting in the car. He was a bit stressed because he had to get to work and because I’d talked for so long about my life-blocks the session had overrun and now Ads was late. Baby Reid was playing with his dinosaur in the back of the car.
I flopped into the passenger seat like some jellified raggy doll, emanating essential oils and about as coherent as a pot-high hippy.
“How’s your neck?” Ads asked, gripping the wheel and zooming down the hill.
“Good,” I drawled, not bothering to do a crack test.
“Did Yasmin work out what caused it?”
“Yeah – it wasn’t muscular really. It was more mindsetular.”
Ads gave me the glance of a man who is bewildered by his woman’s unfathomableness.
Then he went to work and I have spent the rest of the day feeling very Zen about everything.
As a result of today I now feel in trust that all of my personal apparent blocks are going to dissolve and all I need to do is take whichever actions I CAN and apart from that hold a space of flexibility, trust and open-minded-ness to the outcome.
As for world events and He Who Should Not Be Named? Just for today I am taking a leaf out of Yasmin’s book and not letting a man whose is as orange as an ice-cream cornet and whose hair is like the Mr Whippy on top, enter my sanctuary of self.
Today I surrender to the shimmering jelly of every possible outcome.
If you are lucky enough to live on the Isle of Wight, please note that Yasmin at Seven Sisters Serenities is my biggest, most cherished self-care secret. Please DO NOT book any sessions with her because the more other people do, the harder it will be to get my moments of magic.