* I love doing tongue exercises. They are beneficial for you in so many ways.
* The tongue is like the diaphragm in a special way. It is a ‘bridge’ between conscious and unconscious.
* The tongue is also the end of the acupuncture meridians for the kidney.
* It is often said that your ‘breathing’ can be a link between the conscious and the unconscious, but it is not so much breathing but the diaphragm, which can be regulated both consciously and unconsciously.
* The diaphragm, the tongue, and places such as the lips, jaw, eyes and pelvic floor are all muscles that are under dual control. That is they can be controlled by both the somatic nervous system (conscious control) and the autonomic nervous system (automatic or unconscious control).
* Your tongue is attached by connective tissue to your skull, your spine, and your chest. Therefore, moving and ‘stretching’ your tongue can give a lot of mobility to these parts of the body, increase their range of motion, as well as relieve pain or discomfort in this areas.
* There are many different tongue exercises you can practice. These include lengthening your tongue upwards, lengthening the tongue downwards, lengthening the tongue to each side, and sucking the tongue into the back of the throat while keeping your lips shut and jaw open.
* Moving your tongue in these different positions also involves moving your lips and jaw, which are also under dual control from the nervous system. Therefore, they can have an even more powerful ability to access your unconscious and regulate its function, and perhaps even re-write any unwonted unconscious programs.
* Moving your tongue, jaw and lips in the ways I have described also exercises the facial muscles, and gives a youthful look to your face. They also promote bloodflow to the brain in the way that can really enhance brain function.
* These exercises are often practised in advanced yogic breath-control in order to eventually reach a special position called Khechari Mudra, where the tongue is turned back to the back of the throat and reaches up to try and touch the pineal gland in the centre of the brain, and perhaps stimulate the release endogenous psychedelic substances such DMT that can induce healthful meditative states.
* When this position is achieved many things can begin to happen. For example the people I know who can do this report and much less hunger, and say that they can hold their breath a lot longer. Many old texts suggest that you need to physically cut the frenulum to achieve this posture but I know many people who have achieved this without cutting the frenulum and I think tongue ‘stretching’ is a much safer option.
* Life also shows us that the tongue can act as a tool to shape our brain. Babies feel things by putting them in their mouths. Kids stick out their tongues while concentrating on activities. Adults allow their tongues to tell them about the world through drinking, eating and kissing. Scientists now believe that due to the many nerve connections between the tongue and the brain, that stimulating the tongue may be a pathway to retrain the brain after traumatic injuries or disease.
* In this photo from our advanced training in Paris a few weeks ago you can see that tongue stretching is contagious. While we were all stretching our tongues to one side Marley, who is very good at ‘Downwards-facing dog’ and ‘Upwards facing dog’ postures, was also stretching his tongue the same way. This was a random posture and was a random photograph – I was so surprised to see how it turned out.
The three simplest tongue exercises are:
(1) Moving the tongue up and down.
(2) Moving the tongue left and right (not shown in this video); and
(3) Moving the tongue in the circle.
* Simply doing these exercises alone can give you so many benefits as described in my last post.
* However, like every part of the body all movement naturally begins at your core. In this short video I show tongue exercises (1) and (3) while emphasising moving my core along the same pathways.
* In the first half of the video I am breathing naturally with my core movement leading my tongue movement. This actually creates a very powerful breathing exercise which has incredibly positive effects on many body systems. These include increasing heart rate variability, which can positively affect the immune system.
* In the second half of the video I am holding my breath out and expanding my chest as if inhaling but not actually inhaling at all and then moving my core to move my tongue. This has many positive effects that include mobilising the spine and massaging the internal organs. The feeling is incredible while you are doing it and makes you feel really alive afterwards as well.
* There are so many scientifically valid reasons to do these exercises and move generally in this way from the core. I teach and explain these in detail on my courses and use them to enhance all conventional exercise forms.
* I am looking forward to teaching soon in
- Sydney 5-14 July;
- Maine, USA 19-28 July;
- Brighton, UK 9-11 Aug;
- Barcelona, Spain 12-25 August;
- Perth, Australia 6-10 Sep;
- Melbourne 22 Sep;
- Bali 24 Sep – 27 Oct;
- Israel 30 Oct-10 Nov;
- Byron Bay 13-24 Nov;
- Bangkok 26 Nov-5 Dec 2019;
Then in Goa, India Feb 2020. Please see full details on my schedule online.
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