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Mind Swing Mood Swing



When the pendulum swings how do we find the centre and regain a state of equilibrium?


Mental Health

Our mental health is challenged when we start to experience extremes of opposites whether it is in our physical body or our thoughts our moods or our emotions. All or any of these affect our physical health, our thinking, our emotions and of course our mental health..  


Off Balance

Yoga teaches us how to navigate, to observe and to learn from recognising and being willing to explore in more depth the challenges and fears of the realms of being off balance. We learn how to take a different point of view, one we may have never even considered. And once we become more familiar with the doubts and fears of 'wobbling', we are ready to allow and welcome the wobble as the vital clue to yielding. To find a centre where we can relate to feeling safe, feeling rooted or grounded.


In yoga, yielding is the opposite to propping. Propping is where we overdo, or over-posture, how we wear masks to hide or present a false front and where muscles are overly engaged. It is also here that we may notice that the breath flow may be restricted and thoughts may feel quite dense, or heavy.

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When playing on a swing, we begin to notice there is a limit to how high we can swing. We feel elevated. We may also notice in that moment of elevation, being at the peak of our swing, there is a stillpoint, a pause, before the swing takes us back to where we started with our feet on the ground.


Once we recognise there is movement in stillness and stillness in movement, that it is all part of the same thing, then we become more confident about this balance of opposites. This may be demonstrated in yoga in the posture Dandasana, staff pose where the body sits upright on the floorwith legs outstretched with hands and arms by the side of the body. Here there is a tendency to push down into the arms to 'secure' the posture. To experiment with the opposite, yielding, we can explore its parameters by trying to balance on a a soft blue ball and at the same time breath, relax, watch and allow.


Now, we enter a phase of investigation, or enquiry, with the insecurity of the questioning mind:


Fear

What if the ball bursts?

What if I fall off the ball?

Will I hurt myself?

How do I stop the ball from wobbling?


Acceptance

Once we accept that the swing will swing and that because the ball is round it will naturally roll, only then can the mind let go and allow the body to find its own equilibrium, inviting the mind to take a back seat, the breath to soften and for the mind to become the observer rather than the doer of the action. And when the body eventually relaxes on the ball, the internal fluids, such as sinovial, blood and lymph, find their own equilibrium. This is transmission, where energy is naturally charged through the central nervous system, causing our breath to become slow and gentle, almost as if suspended. The mind begins to quieten and the yoga posture is able to reveal itself by yielding to the intelligence of the fluid body.


Yoga and Meditation

Just as in Yoga, in Life, we practice to find a balance between extremes. eg. like a tennis player wrong footed needs to change the balance and weight of the trajectory of their body in space to become centred, ready to play the next ball.


And so Yoga, as it moves us towards meditation, serves to draw our attention inwards, both when we go too far or not far enough and when we take time to slow down our practice we are more able to navigate the fertile territory that lies between. Finding this kind of balance is known as 'walking the edge' where any more would be too much and anything less, not quite enough. We all know how this feels when we feel wrong footed, off balance.


Workshop: May 25 Unwinding Tension - Balls to the Wall, The Wallace Room 1100-1230 £18


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