A wave of ease – it’s closer than you think

The sounds and flashiness of the holiday have settled. The New Year is upon us and so we settle. We settle with our intentions. We settle with the day to day once more. We settle with the expansive possibilities that lay in wait within the minutes of 2016.

We move big in our day to day. We drive big cars, we talk loudly, we listen to loud music, we have big t.v.’s,  we watch long movies and read sometimes even longer blogs. We definitely think loudly. Our grocery stores are big, the man made playgrounds are big… and yet somehow with all the bigger, we still find food for our souls in the quiet. In the simple beauty of a symphony. In the stillness of ocean waves on a quiet beach. In the towering magnificence of trees in a forest. In the pure moonlight of a winter’s night. The quiet is where we can go to feel purity. The quiet is where we can go to hear wisdom.

The quiet can also be uncomfortable and scary and deafening. A relationship with the quiet is not always easy. And yet the quiet is also the place of subtle and incessant power. Last month, I suggested that you step away from the hustle and bustle to embrace the quiet and be present with the quality of the breath – your actual one word descriptor – where it met the pain. This month, we’ll add on. Ready?

1. This time, you can choose to find this exploration absolutely anywhere in any situation.  
I am sitting at a table in a restaurant right now and there are LOTS of people all around me.

2. When you notice your body is in pain or strain, simply pause.  The world can continue around you, but you simply stop moving for the moment and notice where you can do 10% less to simply be in the position you are already in.
My shoulder blades just settled with gravity… I didn’t force them down; they naturally found there way home and now I’m doing 10% less to exist.

3. Take a few natural breaths – no deeper than normal. Simply feed the breath in and out for about 3 cycles and start to notice where strain resides for you in this moment.  Where do you feel particularly sticky?
The base of my neck into my upper back is feeling especially strained tonight.

4. Now, talk to the pain in that specific area of your body. For 10 breath cycles (count by tapping them gently on your fingers), let it go something like this in your head:
On the natural inhale – “Upper back, I am breathing in.”
On the natural exhale – “Upper back, I am breathing out.”
I’m actually talking to my tissue right now in my head.  Just as if it were a person standing in front of me, I am offering it some information.

5. If you find that you get distracted before the 10 breaths are up, just start at the beginning once more. Keep doing that until you get through the full 10 breaths with the repetition in synchrony:
On the natural inhale – “Upper back, I am breathing in.”
On the natural exhale – “Upper back, I am breathing out.”
And now that the tissue has some information, I can feel it responding.  No, I won’t tell you what it is doing but it is definitely responding.

When you are done, take stock. Notice how the breath feels now. Notice how the sticky spot has reacted to your direct attention. And if you really want to go for some fun, allow this to be a weekly or a daily practice for the next four weeks. The shifts will be fascinating, for sure. I’ll do the same and meet you back here next month. Feel free to drop me a note at Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com to let me know how it is going or talk to me in class. Happy exploring!

Be well,

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