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What are Stress containers?

Our signature Gong Yin practice captures the essence of HOA in an experience that is wholly restorative and rejuvenating. Combining Gong Therapy with Yin yoga, this session aims to release tension from areas that we call stress containers and realign the body’s natural frequency with help from the sound of the gong. This session is able to heal holistically as it soothes the mind and also revitalises the body. Expect to feel total relaxation afterwards! 

Our Gong Yin practice is targeted specifically at individuals needing to release stress. Chronic stress has been called “the silent killer”. It compromises the immune system and is a major contributor to many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s and many more. Our overly stressed lives cause our adrenal glands to work overtime, leading to stored toxins and blocked energy (chi) in the body. 

Our body and spirit are made of energy, and energy must be in constant motion and flowing to stay vital and clear. Stuck stress can actually manifest in blockages, pain, tension and rigidity in the fascia and connective tissue. To understand where stress is kept, let's first look at stress containers. 

Depending on how each individual responds to stress, tension can be stored in 5 different areas in the body: the jaw/neck/face, shoulders/heart, diaphragm/lungs, stomach/gut, and the pelvic floor/hips. Each stress container corresponds to a different type of stress that the body is having trouble letting go. 

Jaw, neck and face 

For those who hold stress in the jaw, neck and face, the most common reaction is in clenching or grinding the teeth, which tightens the neck and pulls the head forward. In extreme cases, this would cause migraines, deep frown lines on the forehead and painful neck muscles. Stress often gets stuck in the area when we’re thinking too much and worrying about a particular situation because we are bringing up the past. By using meditation and mantras, we are able to relax these areas and calm the brain, leading to better energy flow. When meditating, remember to bring the energy to the areas that feel tight. 

Shoulders and heart 

Stress settles in these areas when life gets hectic and we have too many things on our plate. We literally feel like “the weight of the world is on our shoulders”. When this happens, the shoulders tend to hunch forward, or tense up towards the ears, developing a compressed posture. The upper back and neck will feel stiff. To counter this tension, we recommend gentle chest openers such as Sphinx pose or baby cobra. Make space in the heart for positivity to shine through, and the stress will eventually dissolve for a lighter, more relaxed disposition. 

Diaphragm and lungs 

When stress is held in the diaphragm, the common reaction is to hunch forward, causing tension in the shoulders. As a result, the chest becomes constricted and the lungs are not fully expanded, leading us to feel out of breath and generally feeling exhausted or defeated. This reaction is rooted in fear, causing us to feel out of touch with our personal power and feel uninspired. With the right breathing techniques, we are able to better connect with the breath and allow relaxation to flow into the body. More oxygenation in the brain also leads to mental clarity, enabling us to work efficiently and stress-free. 

Stomach and gut 

When stress is held in the stomach, it can manifest as chronic gut issues such as indigestion, gastritis and in extreme cases, stomach ulcers or cancer. The gut is our power source, feeding our gut instincts and is also our key to living without fear. People with blockages in the stomach often do not feel powerful and are not letting change in. Gentle spinal twists detoxify the stomach and allows us to release blockages in the gut, whereas breathing deeply into the belly stimulates the flow of energy. 

Pelvic floor and hips 

Holding stress in the pelvic floor can cause lower back pain, tight hips and a disconnect from our deep core. The disconnect from this particular web of connective tissues and muscles is a result from being unable to mindfully relax that specific area and would gradually cause us to lose more connectivity, tone and resilience. Gentle hip openers are recommend to let go of stress in this area, as it teaches us that we need to learn how to fully let go and surrender. When the hips are open, we become more fluid and flexible, and will also feel lighter. 

Come and experience a wholly restorative and rejuvenating session when you book for a Gong Yin practice with us today!

Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA


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