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Simply Stuck



Are we stuck in patterns of behaviour and thinking that are not helpful to our physical posture or our mind as well as to our social behaviour or mental health?


Scolling


Scrolling, a modern day expression of being stuck, on a screen to which we may return again and again. So whether on a screen or having to nurse a loved one through sickness, or feeling stuck in a rut over the loss of an animal, a job, finance or someone close, we all know what it feels like to feel stuck in the patterns of a life that we often find challenging to navigate.


Mental and Emotional Health


Good mental and emotional health comes from accessing all parts of our multi-faceted self. A bit like listening to the sound of an orchestra in its fullness and at the same time being able to identify and appreciate individual instruments and their contribution to the whole symphony.


Stuckness is often mirrored in our bodies, how we carry ourself, appearance of niggling aches and pains. We may find it easier to notice how others get stuck in their ways and as we get older we may eventually reflect on how this may also be true for ourself.


Yoga


Yoga helps broaden our horizons. by moving the breath, body and by watching our thoughts and actions more closely, so we may take responsibility for them and maybe even allow and welcome change to happen. rather than getting tangled up, spiralling out of control where thoughts and often our actions are automatically on repeat. On a deeper level, when we become aware of working directly with our own nervous system in yoga we may find it has a pleasing and long lasting effect to help us make change tangible..


A large contributing factor to change in yoga are the eyes. How we look at things, not just externally, but also our internal assessment of how we feel about what we see. It is also important to recognise the value of our eyes in proprioception, both outer space that is all around us, as well as and at the same time, recognising our inner space as this relates directly to the nervous system, our senses and the balance of the brain. 

 

By working with our eyes open, focussing on a spot straight ahead, drishti , known as an open eyed focus in space, we are able to find our balance, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. We are able to be aware of connecting to the Earth through the feet, as well as through the eyes to recognise the space that's in front of us, and when we keep the eyes still it allows the mind to focus on the breath. When we focus on the breath this way with eyes open on a point straight ahead, the space we see right in front of us is recognised and matched internally by the brain. Breath is the link to balance of body, mind and emotion. It helps us to develop our focus which in turn can change how we think and how we feel in terms of our safety.



Feeling Safe


When we feel safe we are sensitive to how the breath supports the physical shape of the body as well as our mental and emotional 'posturing'. Without safety the breath is held or may be jagged, causing the posture to collapse, posture of both the thinking mind as well as the body, When our posture is alive with breath, prana, (life force), there is freedom to receive both breath and posture more freely as opposed to the breath being locked-in, dampened down and held, creating emotional turmoil as well as physical collapse  bringing with it anxiety, distress or the need to ‘hide’ by faking-it or distracting by shutting down or physically leaving the room.  This may make us feel inadequate.


By working with the eyes open, via the optic nerve, within the realm of the surrounding space and directly to the central nervous system,  the focus that comes with drishti allows for a relaxation response to enable the the mind to remain focussed on the breath..  This is key to being present and it is what helps us as well as holds us in standing balance in our yoga practice.


For instance we can do this simply with Mountain Pose, Tadasana, a posture where we literally learn to stand on our own two feet.  Symbolically you could say that Tadasana is a place where we stand for ourself in our own life. And Tadasana, Mountain pose, forms the foundation for all standing yoga poses. An excellent place to start a practice.


Support


There are times in life we need to feel that it is okay to ask for or take support for ourself. Maybe our balance is a little off, maybe we are spatially challenged, suffer from vertigo or tinnitus. There are many ways we may feel the need for grounding, to feel safe and connected. So learning to ask for and to accept support when we need it, whatever that support may look like, is an important part of learning how best to support our Self.


Support may be with the floor, or the back of a chair, seated in a chair or a light touch of the fingers on a wall. It may be asking for assistance to lift heavy bags, climb a step or cross the road. There are many ways we can start to make neurological connections to help our sense of feeling more safe, to be grounded. When grounded this immediately helps brings the mind to rest on the breathing rather than it worrying about a wobbly balance, feelings of insecurity, inadequacy or judgement we have about others, ourself, our past, future or the world around us..


All aspects of these practises can be found in all Yoga approaches with Kathryn at Horsham Yoga whether Immersives Classes Workshops, One to One


Kathryn is a qualified professional Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist

Resource:  Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Michael Lee

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