Relax your nostrils

This is a rippin’ technique for highly strung, nervous types. Like me. We can’t “just relax”. We have to trick ourselves into it. Go about it from a different angle. This is OK. Truly it is. But we must do it – trick ourselves, do whatever it takes – so we can continuously,  slowly, slowly, not-all-at-once unwind. We have to keep working on it, little pocket of tension by little pocket of tension. This matters. We can’t keep going as we do. It’s not the point of life to be forever brittle and ready for attack.

Photo by Terry Richardson
Photo by Terry Richardson


Relax your nostrils.

Soften the inside of your ears.

Release your toenails.

Let go of your teeth.

Let go of your eyelashes.


Did you just do it? It works, yes?

A yoga teacher once told me to relax my nostrils. I took it further and released more ridiculous parts of my body, one by one. And I found my whole body released when I did.

It’s just too much to relax one’s shoulders or to release tension all over. By targeting inconsequential parts of my body, there’s less pressure, less onus. It’s like my exercise theory: if I tell myself I have to head out for a one-hour gym session, I’ll baulk. But if I merely commit to a 20-minute walk and I’ll not only do it, I’m likely to walk for longer, possibly an hour.

It’s also a little like my “smile with your eyes” technique, which I do when I meditate and when I’m walking.

We only have to chip away. And it’s in the chipping away that we experience the joy of growth. And this is the point of life, no?

Are you tired of being frazzled and brittle? I am…

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