Muscles of the face, jaw, throat.
1. Begin by looking at yourself in a mirror...notice pattern of tension and expression...what is this face saying to you and to the world? Then lie on your back on the floor (alternative: sit comfortably on firm chair), and close your eyes...notice how body makes contact with the floor...notice feelings and sensations around face, neck, head, and eyes...notice expression on your face, and the quality of feelings in that expression.
2. Same position...eyes and mouth closed softly, and become aware of your face...what does “face” include?...ears?...scalp?...throat?...neck?...temples?...hair?...just notice the boundaries between “face” and “not-face”...
3. Bring awareness to the two corners of your mouth...can you feel both corners at once?...is one more clear than the other?...does one move more easily than the other?...is one corner more forward in space?...higher or lower?...try a little smile, and see what that feels like...do it a number of times, keeping it small, noticing where you have to release tension to make it a little bigger...what happens around cheekbones?...around nose?...around eyes?...jaw?...tongue?...throat?...and rest.
4. Place right index finger on right corner of mouth, on the corner or near where a “dimple” would be...again smile slowly, and feel muscles under finger...what trajectory does corner of mouth follow in the smile?...outward to side?...upward?...downward?...can you feel the cheek moving against your teeth?...keep slowly repeating the little smile, and apply a little pressure with the finger to help the movement in the easiest direction...do that a number of times...then just explore using finger to move the corner of the mouth in different directions against the teeth, up down, right, left...several times, slowly, making it smooth...and change directions...and let it go and rest...let your mouth hang open a little...notice changing sensations in face.
5. Repeat #4 on the other side.
6. Place index finger of right hand on “corner” of right cheekbone (point where “front” meets “side”) and repeat the movements of #4, smiling, helping with finger, exploring circles...and rest.
7. Repeat #6 on the left cheekbone. Rest, and notice sensations in face...different?
8. Bring awareness to the corners of the eyes... can you feel both corners at once?...is one more clear than the other?...does one move more easily than the other?...is one corner more forward in space?...higher or lower?...try a little smile, and see what that feels like... then place right index finger next to right corner of right eye...again smile slowly, and feel muscles under finger...what trajectory does corner of eye follow in the smile?...outward to side?...upward?...downward?...forward...keep slowly repeating the little smile, and apply a little pressure with the finger to help the movement in the easiest direction...do that a number of times...then just explore using finger to move the corner of the eye in different directions against the skull, up down, right, left, sometimes "with the grain" of the smile, sometimes against...do it many times, slowly, making it smooth...does your eyeball move or refocus in response?...let it move and refocus as it would like...and change directions a few times...and let it go and rest...notice changing sensations in face...and rest.
9. Repeat #8 on the left side.
10. Bring awareness to the location of your two ear openings...is one closer to the front of your face than the other?...one closer to your spinal axis?...one closer to the top of your head?...are ear openings higher or lower than nostrils?...repeat the smiling movement...are the ears involved at all?...place a finger in each ear and feel as you smile...help the ears so that each time you smile, you pull the ears a little forward...how is that?...back?...down?...up?...which “help” is most interesting?...and rest.
11. Place fingers (one or both hands) on bridge of nose...and smile...how does nose respond?...explore pushing skin of nose in various directions as you smile...down...up...inward...outward...kinda weird, huh?...and let it go and rest.
12. Place fingers on lower jaw below mouth so fingers are on face, and thumbs under jaw bone...and smile a number of times...what do these little muscles do under your hands?...now let your jaw relax, and open, feeling with your hands how it moves...and with jaw open a little, repeat the smiling, and see how that is...do it several times...and then move hands further back on jaw toward earlobes, and from there explore gently opening and closing the jaw...gradually make it bigger if you can do it without increasing effort...and now what if you explored the relationships between smiling and opening the jaw?...do that a number of times...and then just the jaw opening and closing, still feeling jaw movements with hands...and then bring awareness to saliva glands, the area under your tongue back near your molars, and consciously relax them...you will find that your mouth waters a bit more, and also it is easier to smile...and rest. Notice sensations and expression on your face.
13. Rest hands at sides...without using hands to help, curve your mouth downwards at the corners...how do other muscles of the face participate?...does lower lip stick out?...and smile...and frown...and go back and forth like that a number of times...how do eyes participate?...can you smile just with the mouth, and not eyes...just eyes, and not mouth?...can you frown with the eyes and smile with the mouth?...does that remind you of crying...?...and just lie back and rest.
14. Hold eyes and forehead in a “smile,” and move the corners of the mouth and lower face between smiling and frowning...practice till you can do it lightly and quickly...then change it so eyes hold a “frown,” and move the corners of the mouth between smiling and frowning with eyes in this position...practice till you can do it lightly and quickly...and then one full smile, hold it a moment, and let it go and rest.
15. Explore smiling with right side of your mouth and right eye...and left side of mouth and left eye...which side is easier? Did you do the easy side first?...which eye do you wink with? Can you alternate quickly and easily from one side to the other?...and rest.
16. Repeat #15 with “frowning” on one side at a time.
17. Bring awareness to right side of face...explore smiling with right eye while the right corner of the mouth curves downward...and reverse so right eye frowns and right mouth smiles...can left side of the face remain passive?...and repeat on the other side, with left eye and left corner of mouth, while right side is passive...and rest.
18. Explore smiling on one side of the face while frowning on the other...and switch...and alternate slowly, this is quite challenging!...(actually, many people do this habitually, but our right brains, which recognize patterns, mainly register the right side of someone's face, so we don't notice...we always vote for politicians whose lips curl up habitually on the right corner!) and let it go and rest.
19. Keep eyes closed and smile, especially with the eyes, and hold the smile...from that position, hold head still and swing only your eyes to look right and left...what is the shape of the trajectory, smile, frown, or flat line?...Interesting, huh?...and how about if you change it, so you hold eyes and brow in a frown, and swing eyes right and left...eyes move in a “smile trajectory” or “frown trajectory?”...and rest, letting your expression come to rest...expand awareness to the expression on your face and the sensations in your entire body...what is different?...what has changed? Slowly roll to your side and stand up, without disturbing your expression with unintended effort, and look again in a mirror...anything different?