Expansion for Wellbeing
Stress and tension, too much thinking, not moving enough, lack of sleep and time in nature and poor nutrition can all contribute to tension in the body, mind, heart and lead to a general feeling of ‘discomfort’ and ‘disconnection’.
Having worked in health and wellbeing for over 25 years I believe there is a very clear relationship with connection to self, other and all things and our health and wellbeing. When we are not in touch with ourselves, not noticing what we are eating, how we are acting, thinking, communicating and not making positive lifestyle choices then it is much more likely that this leads to disconnection and illness or dis-ease.
There are so many known self-care practices that are deeply supportive to help connection, and that also restore the body, heart and mind back to a state of balance.
As a meditator and yoga practitioner of many years my main focus, in my own practice, is to release tension from my body, heart and mind and encourage a sense of expansion from my ‘inner space’ outwards. I find this practice incredibly powerful, nourishing, regenerative, reconnective and helps awaken a deep sense of awareness, presence and calmness. It feels like I am connecting to my soul, the most intimate part of myself. When I combine this with being in nature it has a completely amplifying effect which deepens the experience.
Exploring Expansion Exercise
Why not try it…here’s one way of exploring this.
You can do this anywhere, be creative….sitting, lying, standing, walking…in headstand….
Find a comfortable position for the body. Close your eyes and feel the places where the body touches the ground, take a few breaths and encourage on the exhalation for a sense of the body releasing into the ground, with gravity and feel the support the ground offers back. Spend a few moments scanning your body and checking if there is any tension that you could breathe into and release. Once you are feeling quieter bring your breathing focus to the centre of your heart and every time you breathe in imagine gently expanding your heart centre and softening your body on the exhalation.
After a few breaths start to imagine and feel into the expansion opening out further and moving into the whole body, then to the edges of the body, then out beyond the body into the space around you.
Stay connected to your breathing at your heart centre and with this continued feeling imagine expanding beyond the body and out into all the space around you connecting with the infinite, limitless space, all the known and unknown things in your field of awareness.
Continue with this feeling of the ‘whole body breathing’, or what I like to call ‘soul breathing’, and with the unlimited feeling of expanding from the inside out. After a few minutes gently bring your awareness back to your body and open your eyes and notice how your feeling.
Don’t worry if your mind wanders, when you notice just call yourself back, ….again and again with your breath.
I would say this is one of the most potent practices I am committed to throughout my day, to help me stay present, open, checking how my body, heart and mind is responding in each moment. It can really make the difference between feeling balanced and connected or exhausted at the end of the day. Tension, contraction and overthinking takes up so much of our energy resources.
Try it and see…..remember…it only takes one focused breath to connect again!
Physiotherapy, Energy Medicine, Movement Education, Health & Wellness Coaching