Create A Personal Practice for Healing
Create A Personal Practice for Healing
Many of us have such great intentions to live healthy and happy. With the new year upon us, is it time to set new intentions and make new resolutions?
The deepest desire that you possess is to be happy. Everyone wants to feel good so that they can enjoy what life has to offer. Happiness requires that we have a healthy organism, namely a body, mind and soul that is in tune with its inherent nature. Where does one begin on the road that leads to a life that promotes and supports this concept?
Use Your Body as Feedback
One of the easiest and greatest tools to get started is to use your body as feedback. Your body is the crystallization of your mind. Whatever happens in the mind is reflected in the body: eating, sleeping, moving, thinking, doing and so on. It is much simpler to get started with the body, since the body is easier to access for many. For example, when our lower back or neck is in pain, we cannot ignore it. We may be able to suppress the pain with medications, but it is much harder to ignore this type of pain than a thought or feeling that can be buried and out of sight.
When we use our body as feedback, we gain an awareness that allows us to access the mind – our feelings, thoughts and emotions. Our self-knowledge does indeed increase. You may think this sounds so simple and rightly so, it is. By practicing simple moves, we gain access to areas and points in the body that feel tender, very sensitive or even painful. Once identified, these locations become the focal point for the start of putting together a personal healing practice.
For many years I have studied internal martial arts (tai chi) learning some fundamental principles about energy and its nature. It is universally understood by healers in all cultures that energy needs to circulate, not stagnate and when it circulates, there is flow and space for it to circulate. When we injure ourselves physically and emotionally, the space that is injured shuts down and the circulation stops. The area or point around the area becomes painful or sensitive to the touch most of the time. This is an indicator as to where to start.
Knowing how and where to start is necessary.
I suggest that clients and students start with something that will support their body. Starting with something that supports the body-mind complex, helps build the confidence and strength to break out of inertia and move into motion. So a simple starting place can be to just standing with full awareness of breath as you follow the breath up and down the spine. After a few days, you can add a move that encourages circular movement to the limbs and joints.
As experience accumulates with practice, awareness can be moved directly to where the pain is located and then you develop a plan around that. For example, if you hips are tight, then do modified yoga poses to open the area. This type of approach has the energy to rehab the mind field somewhat adding more confidence and ability to stand on one’s own two feet. As you continue with this practice adding modifications maybe weekly or monthly, depending on the feedback that you get from your body, is how you build your practice.
What Should I Practice?
Many times students ask, “what should I practice”? The key is to tune in and become aware of what makes you who you are. How you think, how your body moves, what feels good to you and what does not feel good. Honor that with clear awareness. Your body has its own wisdom. It does not think like the mind that utilizes the space between your ears. Your body is intuitive. It will guide you toward homeostasis if you pay attention to its signals. All living organisms want to return toward a balanced state. In science, we call this homeostasis. Do not ignore the signals and think well maybe tomorrow. Make a commitment to yourself to honor your body at this moment. So your practice is a routine that serves you with stability and comfort in mind.
Practice systematically and consistently to get results.
Take an assessment of “what is”, right now by using your body as feedback? Identify your vikruti – the state of current imbalance. There may be more than one area, and that is OK, take note. For example, you may have a stiff left shoulder and a painful right hip. Very useful to take an assessment before getting started.
Accept your findings. Accepting does not mean identifying and owning it. Accepting means to just acknowledge it and understand that there is an imbalance that needs to be brought back to balance. It does not require that you beat yourself up or for that matter give up. When we accept what is, then our healing begins.
Devise a plan with the resources that you have. The one resource is your body and breath. So use it. If you need help or want help the teacher will appear. You have to want it, I mean, really want it? Your teacher dwells within you, but a physical teacher can also help.
Find A Starting Point
Let me give you some starting points. Make a commitment for each day to do one stretch, if you are already doing one then do 2; but no more than 5 with full attention. You can choose a movement sequence that works with the abdominal area since that is connected to these areas. In Feeling Good Matters, I introduce the practice called A and P, a squeeze and release practice focusing on the abdominal region.
Follow this with 1-5 minutes of lying face down in what we call a crocodile position. Allow your body to relax into the floor and watch your breath and count 1-3 on and inhale and 1-4,5,6 on an exhale. The secret is to exhale longer.
Do this practice for 40 days, then you will experience a profound difference.
If you feel discouraged, keep in mind that everything is temporary. When this journey finishes, there will be another right after. Life is transitory in every aspect. Utilize your time with this in mind and apply it to your practice. Your practice is not something you have been doing the same way for the last decade or so. It needs to change because you change. As we change our practice evolves.
Know who you are. You are the divine light and that the practice itself will guide you toward healing and ultimately to the place where you are all one with feeling good.
Some key points to keep in mind when designing a personal practice that is for you is to keep Stability and Comfort in mind. These are the keys to creating a personal practice that will give you access to your healing force and then
be consistent, consistency keeps the healing force ignited and flowing.