Friday, June 24, 2011

Gaining Ground

   I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday and the topic turned, as it often does, to how busy and rushed our lives are. We both have three kids at home and often feel like we are pulled in many directions and in constant movement. Personally, I think whether you have kids or not, have a demanding career or don't work in the traditional sense at all, most of us have this experience of rushing and being under pressure to do more, fit more in. We live in a culture that is high speed and getting faster all the time. Our technology perhaps has exceeded what our brains can handle, our evolutionary process fails to match the speed. We multitask and place fierce demands on ourselves, leaving us feeling flustered and agitated in both our minds and our bodies. Our energy loses it's ground, it's integrative force. My friend told me that she feels it takes her a long time to settle and decompress when the opportunity comes,when there is nothing to get done, nowhere to go. The feeling of agitation, of needing to stay in motion persists.
  I suggested she try a simple grounding technique to facilitate a faster decompression and reintegration of the scattered energy. This technique can help in any moment one might experience agitation, loss of control or overwhelm. This is best done seated in a chair or on the ground, standing works too and in some situations it is not possible to sit (for example, feeling impatient waiting in line). Start by simply feeling your feet on the earth and your sits bones grounded on the earth or the chair. Sense the rootedness and stability provided by that connection and allow the body to soften into it. Let go of face and shoulders in particular, allow the gluteal muscles to soften ( they hold a lot of tension ).  Next tune into breath, follow it's natural tendency for a few rounds and then begin to initiate deeper breath where the belly expands on the inhale and releases on the exhale.  No forcing of breath, follow it's natural opening into the body. Finally, take a deep inhale and pull the shoulders up to the ears imagining all of your held tension accumulating there, on the exhale release the shoulders down and sigh the breath out through the mouth. Repeat two more times and finish with three more centering breaths in and out through the nose.
   I am a yoga teacher, and although this blog is not about yoga or anything specific really, (wanted to allow this blog to be messy just like me, just like life) it will inevitably gravitate toward yoga. Yoga is my way of being and living, it is there always, on or off the mat or cushion. So until we meet again NAMASTE EVERYBODY!! Love and light to all.      

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