When I was in high school, my mom quit smoking. Although I have never smoked a cigarette, I have witnessed the quitting process through friends and family many times. I know that it isn’t easy.
I recall it being particularly tough for my mother, who worked hard to cut down on her own but finally resorted to therapy and hypnosis to quit completely. This was before nicotine patches, you know.
Apparently, someone along the way gave her a relaxation tape to use every day to counteract the stress of quitting. She would retire to her bedroom, pop a tape in, and – well – RELAX.
Except often my father and I would hear giggles from the bedroom. Sometimes giggles turned into outright laughter. Sometimes, she would emerge from her ‘relaxation’ with tears in her eyes from laughing so hard.
The soft, harmonious, gentle voice on the tape kept telling her to relax her tongue.
Perhaps it’s not that funny to you, but in my family this phrase is now part of the family history – and can instantly make any one of us smile.
Now its 2011 and I’m trying to relax myself. I’m not trying to quit smoking, but to improve my flexibility and build strength for backpacking and hiking and, well, middle age. Because I can’t seem to do this stretching thing on my own, I pop in my yoga DVD and Rondey Yee walks me through a simple 20-minute yoga stretching routine.
“Release from the corners of your eyes,” he says. “Feel the earth through your toes,” he says. “You feel as calm as a mountain spring,” he says.
That’s right, my mother’s voice giggles in the back of my mind.
He said “relax your tongue.”