Appreciating those who are re-thinking our cultural obsession with relaxation and release. It's just so much more complicated than that!
"Zero tension equals collapse and, in the case of the autonomic nervous system’s response to threat, feigning death. The feign death/submit/collapse responses all involve a lack of tension in the body, going limp or hypotoncity...
...getting out of a chronically collapsed state is very difficult because we actually feel lifeless, there’s no energy or tension to harness to mobilize ourselves. For this very reason, the habitual cue to release, soften, and let go in yoga classes is not useful for many trauma survivors. For a trauma survivor who escaped more psychological or physical harm by feigning death, constantly releasing tension can exacerbate this sense of collapse, immobility, and helplessness...
We can only truly release when we have a sound physical and psychological container to release into."
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Carrboro, NC.