Tuesday, June 8, 2010
A simple, ridiculously effective way to feel better.
Hi Everyone. Welcome! A moment to share, here's an anti-anxiety tip Du Jour!
Want a simple, ridiculously effective way to unwind and feel better? Go horizontal. I kid you not - hit the floor for a few minutes a day and you'll feel a lot better. Lie down in semi-supine position (see diagram) for about 7-10 minutes a day, once in the morning and then again at night, and you'll be doing a wonderful thing for your fabulous ol' neuro-psycho-physical Self. Promise. Literally known as Constructive Rest Position, the practice is a powerful way to destress, to quiet down our Whole (neuro-psycho-physical) Self and thus gain new insight into how inappropriate muscular tension might be causing harm. It's a great step to freeing yourself UP.
Question: If the world is making you tense, aren't you tense making your world? While lying down, start to SENSE in yourself where you hold tension, how you clutch yourself, even when lying still.
To all you lovely yogis out there, be advised that this practice differs from the fabulous death pose of your yoga practice, for we are not drifting off into Never Never Land but focusing instead on how outside stimulus produces habits of unnecessary muscular tension. A slightly different game, but quite a fun one.
Instructions for Constructive Rest in Semi Supine Position (follow the diagram)
A guided lie down. This is a distinctive way to lie still; it's not a full lie down. Stay TRUE to the pose for the most useful benefit.
1. Grab a few books to support your head when you lie down. You don't need too many, just enough so that your head is supported and resting slightly above your body. This is important because we want to set up a position that allows for freeing ourselves from tension. The head if allowed to fall naturally is quite heavy (10-12 pounds) and will cause your neck to crunch up unnecessarily. The books prevent the head falling back and down on your neck.
2. Lie on a hard surface, i.e. the floor. Very Important since you want to be comfortably supported and a hard firm surface is a great invitation to undo. Register the floor supporting your back, the books supporting your head. Tell your muscles it's okay to soften...give over to gravity. This might seem obvious point, but getting reorganized is a radical shift for most people so don't miss those beautiful moments of observing where you are in time and space. Undoing that hard wiring of unconscious habit is a tremendous moment of power. The power of now, people. The power of now.
Gently ask yourself to stop holding yourself up, consciously register that you are lying down and let gravity have you. Don't press or squeeze anywhere. Instead send a message throughout your system to undo, release, stop gripping or trying or doing. Nowhere to go...just recognize your patterns of working. Are you able to unwind? Has your back opened? Are your shoulders less tense? Are you a little quieter mentally?
3. Notice your spine running up the center of your entire torso from the base of your pelvis into your skull. As you lie for a few minutes and your back muscles undo, your spine literally lengthens to its full stature.
4. Keep your legs pointed towards the ceiling. Notice...as your back fully spreads onto the floor, your spine lengths through the center of your trunk, your neck is then free to release some of that extra tension stored from holding yourself up. As you free yourself up around your neck column, the head moves further away, leaving you with with a sensation of floating on top of your spine.
Keep envisioning yourself opening and expanding; allowing your back to open, your spine to lengthen, your neck muscles to free up and your head to float away/out...your limbs extending away from your center.
The vision I like is one of a Five Pointed Star. Head, Shoulders, and Knees all shining out in opposite directions....
After about 7-10 minutes, come up to standing and see what registers. Does your back feel wider? Are you less tight in your head/neck/shoulder area? Are you breathing a bit deeper? Do you feel a bit taller? What do you SENSE about yourself?
Keep me posted!!
Directed movement isn't a requirement for us two-footed folk; we don't need to think to move througout our daily lives...but life sure is sweeter when we are.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go. ~
- Dr. Seuss