Using the natural forces around us

Using the natural forces around us

Amaryllis

As I watch my Amaryllis plant thrust a thick green shoot toward the sun from the bulb below, I know my eyes are tricking me. The sun’s light is beckoning the plant’s stem to emerge through photosynthesis; eventually revealing its beauty in a fully formed flower. Using the forces of nature as a guide enables us to move our bodies with maximum strength, range of motion and grace.

Whether you practice yoga, Pilates, running etc… or going about your daily life you can apply basic forces in nature to enhance your body’s movement. For instance, while stretching your body, first notice areas of tension or restriction. Now imagine the dynamic of levity or lightness while you are feeling the warmth of the sun’s rays inviting a release of muscle contraction. Without consciously changing what you are doing, your muscles automatically respond to this new impulse. Your body expands into greater freedom of movement.

Ideally, we want all of our body’s movements to be in balance, using both gravity and levity. In addition to fluid and graceful movement that is properly aligned, the forces of gravity and levity benefit our emotional body as well. Jaimen McMillan shares in The Fourfold Path to Healing, in describing the benefits of the exercise the Crest, “Through it the Emotional Body swings through the sensation of rounded heaviness and extension in lightness. It is thus good for back pain, adrenal problems, digestive disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological problems and weight loss (as the body feels the difference between hovering and full heaviness).”

Notice how you are moving. Are there some muscles that are restricting your movement? Are you lacking strength in some parts of your body due to muscles that are not fully functioning? Try using the dynamic of lightness in a playful way. What are your results?

I will be giving a workshop on Spatial Dynamics this Saturday, January 31st, at 9:30 a.m. at Unity of Wilmington in Wilmington, North Carolina. To register for the workshop click here. For information on Spatial Dynamics go to http://www.spacialdynamics.com/

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Thoughts about breathing

© Ile Maurice 479

© Ile Maurice 479

Thoughts about breathing…

Imagine you are standing at the edge of the ocean about knee deep in the swirling water. As the wave goes back out to sea the sand flows away from under your feet creating a space. Effortlessly the cavity begins to fill back up with water and sand until the next outgoing wave once again washes it away.

Now imagine as you are breathing your diaphragm relaxing and falling away from your upper chest creating a space. Effortlessly the lungs respond taking in and filling up with air; expanding into the larger chest cavity.

“Normally we conceive of the in-breath as being the active component and the exhaling the passive, but in this dynamic, the out-breath is the active while the in-breath is the action that follows your relaxation,” explains Jamen McMillan in THE FOURFOLD PATH TO HEALING, page 364,

When we allow the diaphragm to softly release which creates a space that immediately fills up as the lungs expand with the intake of air, without forcing, our breathing becomes deeper and more rhythmical. It is as if we are being breathed rather than us sucking air in and pushing air out. Then we are joining in the larger rhythms of life; day and night, low tide and high tide, summer and winter and sleeping and waking.

How are you breathing?