There's movement and there's movement. Have you ever done some movement or exercise and finished feeling energised, vital and uplifted? Have you ever had the opposite experience where you're left feeling exhausted and depleted with slumped posture? I know I've even been on the same walk on different days and felt these two different outcomes. What's going on?
Movement with Intention and Breath creates a flow of energy that charges the body with vital force or chi.
And in plain english Carla?
On any given day our bodies, minds, emotions and energy fields are in a slightly different state. We know this. We don't feel exactly the same every single day, this is NORMAL. (Yes, hubby I'm normal!)
Therefore, on any given day we need to tune in to our bodies, minds, emotions and energy fields in order to intuitively know what movement is best going to serve us and ultimately improve the flow of our vital force/chi.
So how do we do that? This is where the intention comes in. We can start with any of these four focus areas. Just choose one to play with:
Physical: If feeling into the physical body is the easiest for you, a great place to focus your attention is the spine.
1. How does my spine feel? Bring your attention into your whole spinal column and head from tailbone to the crown of the head. You may want to do some very gentle rotations, sideways bends or forward and backwards movements of the spine to assess how it feels. Does it feel fluid, strong, rigid, fragile or painful?
2. What focus does it need to improve how it feels? Decompression, strengthening, mobility, release, support...
3. Therefore, what is my intention when I'm doing this movement? To elongate the spine, to allow easy nerve flow up and down the spine, to feel strong in the whole back, to feel like the back is supported, to feel lighter, to feel more mobile...
4. Keep bringing your awareness back to this intention during the movement. You can say it as a mantra e.g. "My spine feels tall" or you can visualise it as if there is a little bit more space between each vertebrae or you can feel into it.
With these steps you can still do the same Pilates class, bush walk or cycle that you've done many times before but it can feel completely different when you have a different intention.
The same 4 steps can be used starting with the mind:
1. How does my mind feel? Foggy, like a pinball machine, off with the fairies, racing thoughts...
2. What focus does my mind need to improve how it feels? Stillness, centred, clarity, openness...
3. Therefore what is my intention when I'm doing this movement? Focus on my breath, bringing my attention into my feet to feel grounded, be fully aware of all the sounds around me to open my senses...
4. Keep bringing your awareness back to this intention during the movement. You can say it as a mantra "Breathe" or "Feet" or you can visualise the breath coming into the belly or you feel the abdomen moving with the breath or how the feet feel on the sand at the beach and so on.
Or with the emotions:
1. How do I feel emotionally? Angry, scared, anxious, worried, overwhelmed...
2. What focus do I need to to help the body move through this emotion? A boxing bag, gentle loving kindness, support, intensity...
3. Therefore what is my intention when I'm doing this movement? Allow myself to feel this emotion, allow the body to move this emotion, allow this emotion to dissolve, allow this emotion to give me energy!
4. Keep bring your awareness back to this intention during the movement. You can say it as a mantra "Allow this anxiety to be here", "Thank you anger for giving me energy to run" "It's okay to start to dissolve this fear". You can visualise the emotion moving through the body and out into the ground or out into the air. You can feel the physical sensation of the emotion start to release or dissolve e.g. butterflies in the stomach starting to settle.
Or finally with the energy field:
1. How does my central channel feel? (This is the central flow of electrical energy that runs up and down with the spine through the 7 main chakras). Scattered, stagnant, dim, wobbly, blocked...
2. What focus do I need to improve the energy flow? Release, grounding, opening, centering, pulling all the scattered energy back into the central channel, straightening...
3. Therefore what is my intention when doing this movement? e.g. increased flow, ease of flow, equal flow up and down, broadening of the central channel...
4. Keep bring your awareness back to this intention during the movement. You can say it as a mantra e.g. "strong, flowing energy", you can visualise it as a channel of light running up the spine; or you can feel into it.
Movement with Intention and Breath creates a shift in the body's old patterns.
Once you have the intention, use the breath in whatever way works for you to support that intention. This may be deep belly breathing right down into the lower abdomen. This may be focusing on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. It could be ribcage breathing, breathing with counting, exhale breathing...there are so many breathing techniques. Most importantly, keep checking that you are breathing!!
Movement with Intention and Breath creates change (only read that one if you actually like change!)
Phew, that was a bit of a long one. Well done if you've made it this far - you deserve a cuppa...and then get moving!
Happy moving, intending and breathing!
P.P.S. Online bookings are available for current clients.