Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Beauty of Settling In

A recurring theme in my life these days is settling in. It would seem that so many things are better if your body is given just a little time to adjust. Today I added yet another example of this.

This first came up in yoga, where my instructor Mariana always advised us to endure 30 seconds of a pose or an itch before moving or scratching. My current teacher Leyla constantly tells us to sink into a pose to experience the benefits of it. I’m sometimes surprised at how different a pose feels when it is repeated or held for a while, after the body accepts it.

My PT guy Quentin had a routine of slowly stretching, releasing, then stretching again, over and over until a muscle finally released. It was almost as though muscles had to be convinced to do what he wanted them to.

My osteopath, Dr. Craddock, uses a similar approach to his approach to therapy. His movements are more subtle as it almost seems like he is looking inside your body to see how things hang together. The pressure he applies is usually not so intense that you want to scream, but it is constant and sustained.

I experienced yet another form of therapy today administered by someone recently trained as a reiki master. Reiki combines the hands-on approach of osteopathy with the transfer of body energy. This powerful energy can be directed at a particular problem area or systematically administered over the whole body. It was one of the most unusual and therapeutic experiences I have every had. There was the perceptible release of energy in the form of heat from the practitioner’s hands in a series of sustained applications that reminded me of a very slow piece of music where all the chords are held and you get a chance to enjoy them before they change.

On a larger level, my last three months have been about settling into retirement. It is my own attempt to hold for a while and then release, hopefully resulting in a life that is more balanced and mindful.


Blogger Kristin said...

I've never thought this way before - constant and sustained pressure. It's something I try to practice, especially tolerating itches. (I'm prone to hives, so I just don't scratch.)

Well put, as always. I'm going to think about this for a while.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

You might also consider Reya's recent post about, among other things, graceful transformation. Sometimes you work on the world, sometimes you have to let the world work on you. Adopting the wrong approach at the wrong time creates strife. Now, if I could just get better at discerning...

7:25 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Hmmm, Wish I ahd read this post last night prior to my riding lesson. I ahven't been on a horse in almost a month and getting him bridled and co-operative was a challenge for me.
Sustained pressure- that's what would have been required.

P.S.- I was thinking this post was going to be about the son settling in, or of you settling in around him.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- More than pressure, it's about acceptance.

Ulysses -- Ah, yes, discerning. I do love the idea of graceful transformation.

Gewels -- This was the calm before the storm.

12:17 PM  
Blogger riseoutofme said...

Its all about awareness and patience in the long run, I think.

Graceful transformation ... what we all aspire to.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


For some reason, your post brought me such a sense of calm and peace. You reminded me that i need to seek my 'peace inducing' activities. For some reason whenever i experience a crisis, these are the activities i drop first.

I like that: settling into one's body and accepting. My therapist once explained to me the concept of control as in two couples attempting to control one another. She said it is like playing tug of war: if you just drop your end of the rope and walk away, the issue no longer exists; game over. I don't know why i am adding this, but letting go felt like a theme here to me ... something i need to reconsider.

thank you for the reminder!

10:34 AM  

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