Love letters from an embodied life. Sign up here.

Gravity, surrender and the yoga mat

Taking time on my yoga mat is a frequent activity at McLeod Mansions.   Particularly the taking time bit.

 

When I slow right down and notice how my body is responding to gravity, I get to experience

 

Gravity as support.

 

Wondering what I mean?  Read on…

 

This particular morning, feeling a little exhausted by the relentless rhythms of school and maybe a smidge of trying to keep up with the rhythms of neighbours, colleagues, the whole damn world … I chose to do what I know works best for me, take the time to listen.

Lying in corpse pose (what’s not to love?!) flat on my back, arms and legs comfortably arranged I scan through my body noticing what I find.

My breath rises and falls, becoming more effortless with each new inhale. Effortlessly extending itself, and my muscles with it, on each exhale. And within a few more breaths I reach that place of potential where my breath is breathing me.

I extend a silent invitation to myself to let my awareness expand and feel all the places where my body comes into contact with the mat and floor.

Another to allow all cells, every single last one, to drop into the support of gravity and the earth.

 

My breath sweeps through my body like gentle lapping waves.

 

On each exhale more cells accept gravity’s invitation.

I let my awareness wander, directed by sensation, watching gently, softly, as my body releases more and more down into the support of the mat, the support of gravity.

 

At some point my attention’s drawn to a place in the back of my right arm.  Feeling in as specifically as I’m able, without effort… What is that?

I wait for my body to answer….

 

There’s a bunch of cells, no matter how many, I can feel them. They’re resisting the invitation to drop into relaxation.  Choosing instead to stay engaged. Alert. Poised.

By-passing the distraction of asking Why? I realise :

 

It’s not quite a No to my invitation .. more of a  Not-under-these-conditions.

 

So I ask : What do you need in order to say Yes to gravity’s offer to support you?

 

I let the next few breaths curl sinuously in between what feels like each individual cell.  As my breath flows outward, effortlessly like a leaf falling from a tree, I can feel the slightest tingle of release.  On the next breath, more.

And over each successive breath the tissue which was holding itself alert, ready to keep up with some external rhythm, made a different choice.  Was seduced from it’s inefficient tension by my breath, by my attention, by my taking the time.

 

 

PS.     I’ve been using the Dolphin pose on the mat since then, moving exquisitely slowly, exploring as my weight, the pull of gravity, the movement of my breath all flow through this particular part of my arm.  These specific few cells are becoming more and more integrated into the movement through my whole arm and shoulder complex.

The ripples of their eventual Yes are spreading out …  and their greater ease is being reflected in subtle re-alignments along pathways I didn’t know were there before.

The pull of external rhythms also has less purchase on me now. In freeing my body responses I’ve changed how I experience mine and other rhythms.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *