This weeks article explores somatic awareness and how it can help you deal better with stress. Enjoy!
In the spirit of balance,
Bringing your centre of gravity down
If you observe your body during the day, you may notice is that, if there are a number of things that trigger your stress levels in succession, then your centre of gravity rises higher.
For example, if during breakfast you are reminded of a project at work that is stuck, that thought causes your centre to rise a bit from your lower belly up into your stomach.
Then your partner reminds you that you haven’t started to organise for the party on the weekend, so your centre rises up into your chest. This is accompanied by shallower breathing, from the mid and upper lungs, you are no longer using the lower lung.
Then you go to work and 3-4 people are trying to get your attention. You can’t settle into a task, and even more stress is triggered. By now your stress levels are forcing your energy into your upper chest and shoulders. Your shoulders rise towards your ears, you are breathing from the top of your lungs, and your getting brain cramp behind your eyes as you try and ‘think’ your way out of all the uncomfortable feelings you are having!
Sinking your centre of gravity
One simple way to reduce your stress level then is to simply notice when your centre of gravity rises in your body, and spend a few moments bringing it down. here is one simple method that you can use:
- Notice the height of your centre of gravity in your torso. For example, it may be in your upper chest or clavicles. Place your hand/palm on that level, and breathe, being aware of it.
- Then place your hand mid-way between your current centre of gravity, and your lower belly area. As you breathe the next few breaths, ‘sink’ your centre of gravity down to this level, taking slightly deeper breaths than usual.
- Now place your hand over your lower belly area, just beneath the belly button. Over the next few breaths sink your centre of gravity down from your mid-level down into the belly. This makes your centre of gravity low, with your upper body relaxed. Feel your torso becoming ‘broad’ at the base (hips and belly) and ’narrow’ at the top (head and shoulders), like a mountain or pyramid.
Keeping your centre of gravity low in your body like this helps to release stress as it arises, and decompress stress that has been building up over time. Try doing the exercise three times a day, for just a minute each time, and observe the effect that it has on you.
Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2019.
Upcoming classes and workshops
Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm (Restarts 21st August) – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)
Ongoing on Tuesday evenings (Restarts 13th August), 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (East Coast)
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