Sunday, August 8, 2010

Expanding Awareness

"To see a world in a grain of sand, and Heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour."
William Blake

How often do you notice the soles of your feet? We tend to hide our feet in shoes and only go barefoot inside or on comfortable surfaces. Our feet are one of the most sensitive places of our bodies with several acupressure points that treat our emotional and physical well-being. Running or walking barefoot over roots and stones in the woods will stimulate these points. Our feet are actually a gateway to our whole system and stimulating the acupressure points is a great way to massage your internal organs and systems.

Everyone has probably jumped into a cold river, ocean or lake. Remember how every cell of your body felt alive, invigorated and tingled with a sensation that made you gasp with a sensation between shock and delight? How often are we aware of our whole body at once in this dynamic way? What a fun way to stimulate our circulatory and lymphatic systems while increasing our metabolism.

When we eat do we truly savor our food? Most of the time we mechanically chew a little bit and then rapidly swallow so we can get another mouthful in. Being more mindful and conscious of each bit of food has enormous takes patience but pays off in the long run. It aids our digestion without building excess toxins, it improves our immune system, it reduces the amount of food we need to feel satisfied, and it promote clearer thinking and a healthier nervous system.

Yoga helps us go deeper into places we tend to just skim on the surface. Focusing on breathing fully through our noses and slowing down the breath is something we typically are too preoccupied to notice. We end up breathing fast and shallow breaths that cause poor posture and keep us alive but that is about it. Although our breath physically goes to our lungs, we can energetically send it anywhere in our bodies to open and relax those areas. The poses help us to feel deeply in places of our bodies that are typically closed and tight like hips and shoulders. By bringing our awareness to undernoticed places like the mound of our big toe, the bottom tip of our shoulder blades or the back of our heads we impact our whole body and nervous system.

What do the soles of our feet, a jump into cold water, mindful eating and yoga have in common? They all teach us to be more intentional and conscious in our thoughts and actions. They help us to expand our awareness and how we live life. Accidents often happen when we are careless and not really present. We can live wide awake or we can live half asleep. Which do you choose?

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