Friday, January 24, 2014

TFC Day 17 - Balance

Today it’s all about balance. A balance between mind and body and spirit. A balance between work and home. Physical balance translates into life balance, and vice versa.

1. Breath practice: Square (or box) breath. There are four parts to the breath: 1) inhale, 2) the space between inhale and exhale, 3) exhale, and 4) the space between exhale and inhale. The inhale and space after it are the energizing parts; the exhale and space after are the relaxing parts. In a square breath, all the parts are equal in length so it is a balanced breath.
  • Start by noticing what parts of the breath are naturally long for you and what parts are short.
  • Then try to bring balance to them by shortening the longer parts and lengthening (or perhaps just adding) the short parts.
  • Try a breath with 2 counts for an inhale, 2 counts pause after the inhale, 2 counts for the exhale, and 2 counts hold before you inhale again. If this is comfortable for you, then increase each of the counts to 3.
  • Build your breath to a comfortable maximum with all parts even.
  • Then let go of the pauses before and after exhale.
  • Then let your breath return to its normal rhythm.
  • Notice your breath and energy, how they are different from when you began.

2. Physical practice: Improve your balance. Not only does good balance engage the core, but practicing balance poses will help you not fall down. Start with this easy balance practice by my teacher, Robin Rothenberg. She designed this for the MS program at Evergreen Hospital.

One you’ve mastered basic balance with the practice from the link above, try these variations of tree pose. Stay close to a wall until you are practiced, and please, do not put your foot on your standing leg’s knee.

3. Mind practice: Draw a picture of yourself as you’d like to feel. As you are drawing imagine yourself feeling that way.

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