Bodywork, Yoga, Grounding

“You need bodywork,” my wise friend said matter-of-factly.

I knew she was right. This misalignment often happens to me when I spend too much time in my head — working, writing, over-analyzing.

But this is more than that. This is something that’s been going on for a long time now, and something I’ve turned away from since my kids were born.

The body holds memory and emotions in ways our mind doesn’t.

I’m a body person. I’ve always occupied my body in a deep connected way.

As a young child I danced and did gymnastics.

I played basketball and tennis in high school and though I struggled with eating disorders in my late teens and twenties, sports were healing for me — the place I felt most at home, the most like myself.

I recently began teaching tennis – a sport I mostly broke up with in my early twenties when I first left college.

I played occasionally, subbed for friends on various adult leagues here and there, but told myself I didn’t have time to commit to the sport in order to play well.

Just typing that I’m thinking — what a bunch of crap.

Movement is important. Play is necessary. Somewhere on the path to adulthood we forget that. Returning to tennis has been good for me. Sharing a game I love with newbies has been just another reminder that I need motion, play and more “body” activities.

Movement is more crucial for some — I’m one of those people. Still,  there’s some shame about my need to move — it feels too primal or immature maybe? I’m still figuring out what my thoughts/feelings on the body stuff are all about.  As a child I was told to sit still and often made to feel ashamed of how “in my body” I was.

I’ve been dealing with a bit of a disconnect between body and mind. It has crept up gradually but I’ve detached a bit from my body, and I only recognize it when I’m forced to move when I teach or on an evening walk. There’s awareness just typing these words — I’m not totally detached or I wouldn’t recognize it, but there’s a lack of regular cohesiveness between body and mind. I live in extremes, maybe? (I’m putting question marks here to show how I don’t exactly know, therefore, I’m questioning all of it.)

I think best when I’m moving, yet for so long I was discouraged from moving too much because I was addicted to running — there has to be a balance. I’ve pounded my poor body and need to treat it tenderly now that I’m older.

I recently picked up the book The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD.

Yeah.

It’s a lot, but my wise friend is right. My body holds a lot of the secrets to my healing — this I know. I have known this but haven’t been in a space to embrace it and do the necessary work.

I’m getting there.

Yoga has been a big source of healing for me. I’ve written about this some. However since my kids came along I’ve struggled to maintain the kind of practice I had pre-children, for various reasons.

I have somewhat maintained a home practice, but since moving (over a year ago) even that has been spotty and inconsistent.

I feel sludgy and stuck — emotionally. Depression and anxiety worm their way in regularly. Winter and dreary days are hardest.

Relationship woes and never-ending grief affect me most during the holidays. There’s dismal bleakness where it seems only joy and gratitude should reside.

The shoulds.  I know better than to go there, but inevitably I land in that space during the holidays.

Recognizing the problem is the first step, right?

I’m gifting myself some new yoga clothes for Christmas and plan to try out actual classes in my area in 2017.

It’s time.

I started this morning with a grounding practice that focused on the root chakra.

It was just what I needed to start my day. I’ve shared before how much I adore Adriene. She’s chill and encourages participants to find what feels good.

I need to take that advice to heart. Things haven’t felt good for too long now.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

Oh, and happy Winter Solstice!

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35 thoughts on “Bodywork, Yoga, Grounding

  1. That book is fantastic. I’m in my head and detached from my body, so it’s interesting to read your post and comments about the other side of it. Winter is so much worse for anxiety and depression for me too, looking forward to sunshine and long walks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I’m so late replying. Life… I agree that the winter months are harder. I’m looking forward to warm weather and lots of sunshine. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope the remaining winter days are kind to you.

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  2. I have always lived in my head and been somewhat disconnected from my body. You have made me look a movement a little differently. I feel great when I go to yoga class, but can’t make myself get up and go. Some hesitation is, like you said, a matter of time. But we do need to make time for ourselves and I think doing yoga and grounding work will be good for you. Keep it up! You inspire me to do more moving and spend less time in my head. It’s not easy, but we can do it together!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, you broach a sore but necessary topic for me right now. I always inhabited my body as an antidote to my wandering mind and creative soul–it helped ground me. But, I have not exercised in quite a while, as my body has been so very tired. I know I need to get back into it, if only to release stagnant energies. Keep plugging away . . . you know you’re doing the right thing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I absolutely get it (your body being so very tired). With me it’s this deep emotional yet visceral exhaustion. It has me chained to my couch at this very moment. I actually came down with mono in late 2014 & getting back to regular exercise has been a challenge and different ever since. I tell you this to hopefully encourage you — last year I committed to simply moving regularly and I feel different in a good way. Taking a job teaching tennis was impulsive and has challenged my checking account as well as my ego, but I have a clarity that I’ve lacked since the nearly 6 month mono bout, particularly in regards to exercise. I’ve also stuck with the gentle yoga this month & I’m seeing that I STILL have a pattern of not exercising & then sending my poor tired body into shock by jumping in too intensely. Calm walks under the moon are good (that needs to be my mantra.) Five years ago I would have thought my daily movement was pathetic. Ten years ago I would have likely told my couch-dwelling blob of a self to get a life and step it up. But now…I’m okay with this slower path. At least that’s how I feel today, in this particular moment. As I said in this post, I still need body work, but last night I got on my yoga mat after a short stroll around my block. I moved the body, slowly, but it happened. I’m calling it a success. I encourage you to keep plugging away, too, and keep listening to yourself and your body. You’ll get back to exercising when the time is right. 😊

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  4. Shame has no business when it comes to body movement. We as a nation are the most obese people of any country. Why? Lack of movement and good as the Great Provider, the Great Nurturer. It’s all crap. Your post is perfect about connecting mind and body. Aligning and healing the chakras. I would add that should you not be able to actively move one day, try visualization meditation, it will change your life! Visualizing any sport activity in meditation activates the same receptors that the actual physical activity activates. Besides that, the healing you are seeking can also be done with chakra meditation. I have such meditations on my blog as well as my justruminating YouTube site. Namaste!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have practiced with Adriene for a year now & she is fabulous. I try & do yoga every day but the holidays crept in & you get the picture. It is so true that when you are in a good mental state everything falls into place. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Fall back into practice & before you know it, things will start sorting out. A pleasure to meet you, Viv!

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  6. You gave so much positive energy to me today, i am really grateful!
    Feel free to reach out to me anytime!
    More than happy to follow back!
    (o_ _)ノ彡☆
    (^人^) (o´▽`o) (*´▽`*) 。゚( ゚^∀^゚)゚。

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck! It is hard to keep the body moving, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while. I’ve been trying to go to yoga and tai chi every day for the past 6 months. I’m lucky if I make one session per week. lol! Trying to work harder next year! I try very hard to avoid “should” statements. Not any easier than doing yoga every day. Keep up the good work. I send you thoughts of strength and balance.

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  8. That was part one of my comment and forgive the typos and all the other doodads because I’m talking into my phone. We don’t get internet in this cabin! I know this is a tough time, and I hope that you’re hanging in there tonight! I’m happy that you’re getting some beautiful new yoga clothes and that’s great you’re returning to your practice next year, as I know that’s going to help you feel good. Sending you lots of love and a big hug!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s so much in this post I connect with even though I’ve had different experiences and challenges and trauma. I didn’t know about your love for tennis and that’s totally awesome that you are returning to it again and teaching others! I live in a town that has a ton of body workers of all different kinds – you name it, we have it! In the late 90s I attended massage school and got a certificate, although I realized I wasn’t good at it! :0 anyway for good for this ramble I’m riding on Christmas Eve, and more than a bit out of it with high altitude fatigue. We arrived here yesterday and I conveniently forgot that often times I have a lot of weakness the first couple days. What helps me feel better is movement! Nothing major since the snow is coming down, but I can get out there and walk for a good 30 to 40 minutes with Lucy. I feel so much better after moving, breathing in the fresh air and getting my blood going , but it takes me most of the day to psych up to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true what you said about spending all day psyching yourself up for movement — I do the same thing (as I’m lounging in bed with my coffee.) I’ll be back with more — just got bombarded by little people who want breakfast. Lucky for them they’re cute! Hope your trip is fun and recharging. Xoxo

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      • Continuing… You are quite multifaceted, Dy! I thought about massage school years ago but the timing was wrong — not sure I’d have been good at it either. I’m curious what part you thought you weren’t good at, or did you just not love it? I hear it can be draining work, both physically & emotionally. Anyway…Getting massages has dramatically spiked my anxiety in the past. I’d like to move past that because I think it could help me if I find the right therapist. I’m tentative with yoga as well because the wrong class can be a disaster & hurt more than help. So much in my brain these days. I need to write it out…but that will have to wait. The boys & I are going to venture out & see what we can find to entertain us. I’d love to stay in and veg. Them…not so much. So. Much. Energy. ❤

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    • Continuing… You are quite multifaceted, Dy! I thought about massage school years ago but the timing was wrong — not sure I’d have been good at it either. I’m curious what part you thought you weren’t good at, or did you just not love it? I hear it can be draining work, both physically & emotionally. Anyway…Getting massages has dramatically spiked my anxiety in the past. I’d like to move past that because I think it could help me if I find the right therapist. I’m tentative with yoga as well because the wrong class can be a disaster & hurt more than help. So much in my brain these days. I need to write it out…but that will have to wait. The boys & I are going to venture out & see what we can find to entertain us. I’d love to stay in and veg. Them…not so much. So. Much. Energy. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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