Last post we tuned in to our state of Grounding. This week we discuss the rising partner force, Suspension.
Together, they give you a sense of your space in the world.
Begin by laying the groundwork of your roots like we discovered last week. Toes spread, low belly anchored in, strong thighs, roots spreading deep into the earth.
Draw inward on your low belly, supporting your back and freeing your upper body from having to grip for balance.
Your fluid waist, chest and shoulders rise up from a solid core.
Feel the inner, lower corners of your shoulder blades. Slide them down toward your centrer mid-back as your shoulders drop away from your ears, leaving your neck long.
Notice the free rise and fall of your upper belly, when your stance is fully supported.
Feel your ribcage expand in all four directions with each breath.
Pivoting the back of your head up, bring your chin slightly in toward your throat. Soften your eyes, and move into a wider vision.
Notice how the base of your tongue can relax when it’s not involved in a jaw-thrust forward to keep balance, and how your head seems to be connected with the sky.
Can you feel the lightness of your upper body and freedom in your neck when your earthy base is stable?
Feel the sense of the grounding down of the backline of the body through the wide, sensitive heels, stabilized by the downward pressure of your spread toes. Feel also the sheering spiral rise upward through the arches of the feet, through the pelvis and waist and right through the spacious inside of your crown. Two directions, one body.
How long can you keep your focus on both at the same time, connecting polar energies with a meditative mind?
How does it feel to walk like this?
We in the modern world spend a lot of time in our heads.
We’re thinking, planning, reviewing, figuring, and worrying ahead of time just for good measure. Look around you the next time you’re on the sidewalk and see how many people are lost in thought, heads and upper bodies pitched forward as if led by the force of their minds.
When we’re not present in our bodies and in the moment, it is visible in our ‘shallow’ eye contact. It can be heard in our voice, which seems to be coming from a place inside us that not as deep as usual.
When I catch myself in this state, I notice the tension that has built in my neck, shoulders, forehead, eyes, nose and general upper body. This can be the kind of day that leads to muscle knots, jaw tension, headaches or stiff neck later.
Worse, spending long periods of time in this state creates harmful long-term health patterns that will eventually manifest in structural or organic change to both lower and upper body.
Releasing this posture to be more present in the body at this moment takes just a couple of tricks. One of them is Grounding and the other is Suspension.
Today let’s experiment with Grounding.
- Move your attention inward. Right now, what do your feet feel like? How does it feel down in your feet – stagnant? Flighty or wispy? Resilient?
- Spread your toes a little wider, pressing them evenly downward and feeling your springy arches. Can you feel the support of the earth holding you up?
- Sense the skin and connective tissue of your inner ankles, outer ankles, front and back of ankles. Sense the space surrounding your ankles. If there are places that feel stiff or loose, simply take note.
- Consciously allow a sense of soft space into your knees and behind your knees. If there is any sense of being blocked here, let it go. Sink your weight back into your heels.
- Sense your inner thighs’ connection to your heels, and up into your low belly. Rotate them inward toward the back body, while still pressing into the ground through the outside edge of your feet.
- Notice any tension in your pelvic floor. Feel it suspended parallel with the earth. Allow currents of sensation to flow upward through the feet freely through the legs and pelvis into the belly.
- Just below the navel, tug your low belly gently inward and upward toward the back of your pelvis. This is your center of gravity. Feel its relationship with the earth below, and maintain this slight bracing throughout your day.
- Feel the long line of your back body grounding downward from your crown through your tailbone, through your heels into the earth.
- Take some time to absorb what your whole body feels like when standing in this way.
With a little practice, this whole chain of grounding our stance can take the form of one wave. See if you can maintain this sensitivity in your lower body as you move through the day. Does it anchor you to the present moment? Does it bring your energy down from your head? Does it give you a different perspective?
Next Time: Grounding’s Partner Force, Suspension