Sound like an awful place, right? I beg to differ. When we find ourselves at Rock Bottom, we often feel like there is no hope. I disagree. When you build something - you start from the bottom. For the purposes of my training I prefer to begin on the floor in the simplest form possible. Yourself, the floor (or mat), water depending on your personal needs. It is from here we begin rebuilding your beautiful body, sharpening your brilliant mind and replenishing lost energy.
The reason you have found yourself here at Rock Bottom is no longer relevant. While you are practicing, either for an hour or 5 minutes, everything else ceases to exist. This part is crucial. We have so many exterior distractions – making time for this self-care and setting healthy boundaries in order to achieve it can sometimes be challenging but I promise – it is not impossible.
Start small… 10 minutes, 3 times per week. Find a quiet spot and SIT THERE. You can sit in various poses, as long as you are comfortable. Sit up straight, breathe. Start to deepen your breathing with each breath. Begin to elongate your spine, stretch if you need to. On your inhale, lift your arms over your head and let them meet the sky and on your exhale bring them back down to meet the earth.
Begin to take inventory of your body beginning at the crown of your head. Allow your awareness to travel down through your forehead, releasing any tension. Check in with yourself and your body. The awareness travels to your jawline. Are you clenching your jaw? Allow it to relax. Move the awareness down into your chest and abdomen. Feel your rib cage expand on an inhale and contract on an exhale and start to deepen your breathing. Continue to breathe and check in with your body. Let the awareness travel through your hips – adjusting if needed – then down through your legs and all the way to your feet, even in between your toes.
This may not come easily at first and you may have to stop and start over. That’s ok. You’re learning, re-training your body and disciplining your mind to be aware of what is happening in your body.
Did you notice anything unpleasant while checking in with your body? Make note of that and begin to breathe deeper. Imagine anything unpleasant or negative, anything that does not serve you – to be trapped inside a bubble. As you inhale – the things that do not serve you go into this bubble, as you exhale – the bubble floats further away from your body. Leaving you and allowing for a more peaceful state.
I tell my students do not attempt to clear your mind of all thoughts because that is a thought and it can convolute the purpose of clearing your mind. Rather, when a thought pops into your mind – breathe and open up around it. Create a bubble and exhale it away for the time being.
As you lay there – continue to breathe. In for 5 counts, hold for 2 counts and exhale for 10 counts. If this count is challenging at first, reduce it slightly and make it your goal. Remember when you inhale to draw the breath all the way down filling your lungs completely and when you exhale, squeeze your abs and press the air completely out.
When you have completed your time on the mat – start to reanimate your body slowly. Wiggle your finger and toes, draw your knees up to your chest and hug them, roll to one side and think of things you are grateful for before you stand.
As we move through this series – we will start on the floor and we will build ourselves up to the more complicated poses and techniques. Beginning with this small meditation or breathing exercise can be very helpful. It doesn’t matter what you do after that, you can continue with your day, you can go to bed or even do a workout of your choice.
Just remember, anytime you feel yourself getting tense, no matter where you are – come back to Rock Bottom in your mind, inhale and open up around whatever it is that is bothering you, then exhale it away – it no longer serves you, it is not a part of your day and you are a beautiful ray of light and love.
"I will always catch you." -The Floor