I have been taking a yoga teacher training course called Yoga For Healing. I am learning how to use a yoga movement screen to assess a person's strength and flexibility in nine yoga poses. When I know more I will be able to recommend poses and exercises to address a person's healing. The main thing I am learning about is engaging my core. This has enabled me to be stronger and more centered. It is coming in handy because my grandson weighs over 25 pounds now. My stronger core awareness will help me to carry him without injuring myself.
Engaging the core means drawing up on the pelvic floor muscles and lifting the inner abdominal muscles called the transverse abdominis (TA) toward the spine. If you want to know where that deep core muscle is bring your hands to your belly at the level of your hipbones with your fingers pointing toward your belly button and cough, then laugh. Coughing and laughing activate the TA muscle. So I have been walking around practicing breathing into my belly (diaphragmatic breathing)and engaging my core by lifting up my pelvic floor muscles and TA muscle in my daily life. With my new found core strength I have begun running again and that is very exciting. I am more of a conscious inhabitant of my own body. When I notice I am lost in my head I can celebrate that I noticed and begin to breathe more slowly and more deeply into my belly. In that way I can treat myself with kindness and welcome myself home. The abdomen is the chakra of the power center. Engaging my core, I feel more empowered.
At the same time I have been doing some reading and thinking, listening to a tape and talking to a friend about the inner child.
I am learning that my ego is my inner child. When she gets angry with me because she wants my attention and I don't listen, I do things that are hurtful to myself like overeating and staying up too late. When I am moving too fast and ignoring my soul what I need is to slow down and pay attention. The soul, the inner child and the ego are all one. Together they are calling us home to the stillness within. None of them are the enemy and all they want is loving attention. When I notice anxiety or unskillful behavior I treat myself with kindness, celebrating that I've noticed. I imagine a loving grandmother saying "of course" and holding me in Love. I ask for support from my spiritual support. That spiritual support can be beings, people in your life, ancestors, animals, mountains, rivers or whatever you feel held in Love by for being exactly who you are.
I draw my circle around myself in the air as a ritual to remind myself of my own sacred space- the space that gets made sacred by bringing myself my own attention. I imagine my spiritual support group in a circle around that circle cheering me on and offering guidance and support about honoring my soul.
I came to the realization that engaging my core is like hugging my inner child. Bringing my awareness to slow deep breaths, I engage my core and imagine hugging the little girl inside me. I say" I love you" to myself. Bringing together body mind and spirit in this way has been really healing for me. I am grateful to be hugging my inner child. Slowing down and engaging my core and hugging the inner child brings me to the stillness inside where inner peace is waiting. Experiment with this and let me know what you notice. I just figured out how to read comments.