“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ~~ Fred Rogers, from The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember
As we begin week 2 of December, we will continue our focus on stress reduction. Last week in class, though we practiced a variety of different poses that are known to reduce stress, we focused on hip and shoulder openers in terms of physical work. This week, our physical focus will be on twists.
Twisting poses not only detox our bodies of waste, they also offer us the chance to listen to and communicate with many areas of our bodies that store stress and tension. So when we twist, it’s like wringing out a dirty washcloth, ridding our bodies of unnecessary physical and emotional “filth”.
Have you ever taken the time to notice where in your body you clench or tighten your muscles during a stressful situation? If you’re like me, you’ll most likely find that you’re clenching your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, along with your shoulders and neck. If you can learn to let go and relax these areas of the body using any kind of twisting pose, you may find that it’s easier to let go of mental and emotional baggage. You may even find some physical relief as well, since twists are known for helping to tone the abdominal muscles, promote circulation and improve digestion.
So take the time this week to really listen to your body. Listen with your mind, your breath, your ears, and your heart. Notice all the nooks and crannies that need your attention and then focus on those areas. What is it that they are asking of you? Listen and respond. Try to incorporate even just a simple seated twist into each day, and see what happens.
I’d love to hear about your discoveries as you really start to listen to your entire being.