Welcome to Week Four!
How have you been getting on with mindful breathing so far? And turning your awareness inside?
Any thoughts or insights on last week’s technique? Here’s where you can share: Turning your awareness inside
Today we’re taking body awareness to the next level, helping you to feel grounded, to more easily let go of stress and even (if you watch the video) how to easily become more flexible in life.
Is It Time To Be Like A Tree?
Most of us live in our heads, somewhere in the past or the future, rather than in our sensory bodies, in the present moment.
It’s a modern epidemic. We’re not really ‘here’.
There’s a side-effect of this. It’s as though all of the mental energy we are using stays stuck in your body, like static electricity. Then, just like static, if it connects with something that accidentally earths it, you get a shock.
That shock often comes out as an unexpected emotional outburst or even a physical pain.
So grounding that ‘static’ is really important.
A tree is anchored to the earth with its network of roots, but its branches are still flexible enough to bend with the breeze.
Here’s a mindfulness exercise that works with your breath and with visualisation.
Note: if you don’t ‘think in pictures’ and find it hard to visualise, that’s fine. You can imagine or get a sense of this technique in any way that works for you.
Time To Be Like A Tree
Here’s an audio, to guide you through this process:
- Stand up and start with 3 mindful breaths [see technique #1]
- Imagine there is a cord at the crown of your head, gently pulling upwards, allowing your posture to straighten, slightly tucking under your tailbone, and allowing your spine to lengthen, vertebra by vertebra. When you can sense a tiny space between each vertebra, your spine will still be gently curved, but your posture will feel taller and your centre of balance may have shifted.
- Tuck your chin under slightly, which releases tension and lengthens the back of your neck.
- Allow your shoulders to relax and let a gentle smile rest on your face. Your body feels strong, but relaxed and supple.
- Now send your focus to the soles of your feet. Imagine – visualise / feel / get a sense of that connection – between your feet and the earth beneath you. Feel yourself putting out roots into the earth, growing and anchoring you deeply and firmly. Feel and see those roots getting stronger and deeper, spreading in all directions.
- When you can sense those roots, imagine you are breathing in from the earth, through those roots, through the soles of your feet. And breathe out through the soles of your feet, back into the earth. Continue for a few breaths.
- When you feel ready, as you breathe in, draw the anchored and grounded earth energy in through the soles of your feet and up to your chest area.
- When you breathe out, release ‘static’ and tension down from your chest area and out into the earth, through the soles of your feet.
- Continue this cycle for at least 7 breaths.
- Know that, like a tree, your roots are grounded in the earth and your branches can choose to sway gently in the breeze.
When you feel fully grounded, smile and release the exercise.
How did that feel? Want to share any insights or get answers to any questions? Here’s the forum discussion thread for this week:
Is It Time To Be Like A Tree?
Want to take this to the next level?
Here’s a video to guide you through a beautiful yoga technique called the flowing tree. It is similar to the classic ‘Tree Posture’ from yoga, but this Dru Yoga version is a brilliant way of bringing you back into your body and helping you to experience life’s journey mindfully, rather than just focussing on the destination.
[VIDEO EMBED HERE]
Here’s the discussion thread to share how you get on with the flowing tree:
Week 4 – Flowing Tree
P.P.S. If you have any techy questions, you can get help from a member of my team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org