Water. Breath. Alignment.
The ability to use our body as a meditative instrument is inherent in every human being, by natural design. Our physical requirements for Water, Breathing and Movement are the only truly common things among us. These shared needs are our tools for keeping our bodies connected to the natural rhythms of the earth and our particular environment. Most of us can meet these needs with little conscious intention towards them because our daily lives are set up to provide those resources.
When there is specific intention placed around water intake, breathing and physical activity, we give ourselves the capacity to understand things from a broader perspective by being more present to listen to what our body is trying to tell us.
Begin by drinking 40-80% of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water. Your body is the best tool to help you determine which water level is most beneficial for you as you practice listening to what it is telling you about hydration and adjust your intake accordingly as your personal conditions change. Each day can be different. The daily goal is to have intention in the effort by hearing what your body needs and providing it as fuel instead of waiting for a physical reaction to be the indicator. Make it your own!
Begin by practicing 10x10 breathing; that is, take 10 intentional breaths of increasing intensity 10 times each day, for a goal of at least 100 fully mindful breaths per day, completing each inhale and exhale with deep intention. As you practice breath awareness, your body will begin to lead you through a personalized, intentional breathing sequence designed around the exact type of breathing it needs at any given time. Your body is and will always be the best gauge of what type of breathing you need at any moment. Once you’ve trained yourself to use your breath to scan for areas of tension and breathe directly into them, you can more clearly hear whatever information is trying to get your attention. As your body releases tension, your thoughts become more clear, leading you down a path that fully supports your life. The daily goal is to increase intentional breathing.
Begin by practicing the red light, green light reflex exercise we have adapted from page 68 of Thomas Hanna’s Somatics. This simple practice will generate stronger body-familiarity with the muscle groups used to react in response to fear and effort. Feeling the full extension/constriction of these opposites as a total movement helps align the brain for taking in information with less judgment and fear, real or imagined. Practicing fear and effort responses raises our awareness around our own reactions, which is incredibly beneficial for communication. When you are objectively aware of your own responses and reactions, it’s easier to see them formulate in others. It gives us the power to manage otherwise volatile situations with peaceful resolution of even the most difficult conflict, both internal and external. The daily goal is to recognize tension as it enters our body and help manage the process.