socks and cat

Surrender vs. Submission

I had an interesting and somewhat amazing experience on Wednesday that helped me understand the difference between sumbitting and surrendering. I'm doing a massage trade with a student that is a massage practitioner and as soon as she started her massage on me I tried to do what I normally do during a massage: mentally check out. My line of work leaves me with a mega-ton of knots and adhesions and massages for me are normally pretty painful as we try to force them all out in a limited amount of time. So it's easier for me during a massage to just think about work or stuff going on or fall asleep if I'm stressed or tired. But apparently when I do this, I hold my breathe for long periods of time. And instead of letting me mentally check out, she kept making me breathe long, deep breaths.

Apparently her technique is to keep me present in my body during the massage and part of the process. And instead of forcing all the knots and adhesions out, she works her way very gently and slowly in, layer by layer, getting the body to surrender to it and then working knots and adhesions out. She said that when you get the body to surrender to it, rather than submit, the results of the massage are much longer lasting.

Holy cow was she right! Usually I leave a massage feeling sore from all the intense deep tissue work. For once I left a massage actually feeling the relief and change in my back. And usually my back tenses right back up as soon as I go back to work. But her results have lasted for days, unlike previous massages.

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This has me thinking about the application of surrender vs. submission in my teaching methods. How can we get women's bodies to surrender to the movement, rather than just memorize and submit to it. I mean I know the difference when I see it. I know the difference when I experience it. But I want deeper techniques to teach it.

I'm also curious what other applications and benefits there are for this in life. So I'm opening the following questions up for comment (you can answer only one or both if you prefer):

1. What, in your opinion, is the difference between surrender and submitting?

2. What other areas of our lives can benefit from doing one rather than the other?


All replies are screened temporarily so that no one is influenced by other people's answers. On Monday I will unscreen them so you all can see how your replies compared to others.

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