Days off for me can be a variable amount of productivity. Sometimes I spend the whole day outside wondering the streets and running errands. Other days I stay in and watch an unnecessary amount of TV shows and movies. Or I will write and practice yoga until my body is mushy and there is nothing left to reflect on. Sometimes it is balanced mix of all of these. Today was just that. The perfect amount of relaxation, productivity, and reflection that makes me feel like I am on my desired path and fill my heart with energy for the rest of the week.
Another thing that I like to do is move consciously. I know that sounds a little vague, and to some, perhaps even like hippy non-sense. Whether its walking, asana, hiking, or (most especially) spinning poi I like to remain connected with the sensations of the movements and allow those movements along with music to move me without thought or judgement.
As a person who had grown up participating in a very regimented competitive type of dance and later a strict study in anatomy and physiology moving outside the box and thinking creatively was something that almost foreign to me until I started practicing yoga. Even when I first started I took it extremely seriously and was more focused on if a posture looked right instead of focusing on how it felt. This most certainly isn’t the wrong way of asana practice but it was when my teacher truly taught me to flow and remain connected with the sensations of practice that I received an abundance of benefits. Most importantly, SELF awareness.
*”Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.”
Having this awareness isn’t always an easy road. Sometimes there are harsh discoveries about yourself. But along with awareness must also come understanding and the ability to let it go to move forward.
Awe yes, movement. Movement of my body as well as the movement of my mind and attitude.
Conscious movement – The next time you are walking home, working out, practicing yoga, or dancing to music tune into the sensations of your movements.
-Begin at the feet. Take notice of the feel of your toes, soles, and ankles with each step. Do the right and left feel different? Is one side putting more weight down than the other?
-Continue this exploration all the way up to the knees and hips
-Once you’ve reached the base of the spine focus in on each vertabrae as you move your body
-Do the same thing with the fingers, arms, shoulders, and finally the neck and face. Are any of these places holding tension or are they at ease.
You may discovery discomforts with this type of focused attention through the body. But there is a good chance you’ll notice where feels good and which ways your body moves that feels good. Having this awareness is also so benefical if something in our body starts to feel “off” because you”ll have a better idea of what normal is for you.
***Of course allow breath to be a valued part of this exercise.