Chakras and Self-Care
Try these simple body movements for an instant “wake up” or energy boost.
Bear with me here. I am feeling compelled to share yet another “body message” with some meaningful analogies personal growth and transformation. It all started with slippery steps and a fall. I landed hard on my upper right thigh with a bruise the size of a cantaloupe! (I have pretty large thighs!) Anyway, as I have observed the healing process, I notice that my skin color is returning to normal or balance from the inside- out, to where now I just have a discolored ring around the “landing area”.
So I realized that this relates to the process of integrative wellness. In other words, “quick fixes” for discomfort -physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually- are like putting a band aid on the surface without allowing the deeper, inside-out healing to occur. It’s so easy to grab onto fad diets, energy drinks, busy-ness, withdrawal, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and collecting stuff for the quick “feel better” affect rather than increasing awareness and working with the long lasting tools of a lifetime. Transformation starts deep – with meaningful choices and changes- one at a time. And yes, nature once again shows us how to return to balance…from the inside- out, lasting for the long haul.
The key is to know who you are, what you want, what you need, and what is true for you. Then go after it! This is where I have found the help of a coach or mentor paramount. Someone to guide and support you in ways that matter to you. That’s how long lasting lifestyle transformation occurs.
Perform each movement until you feel a gentle sensation of stretch. Stay focused on the sensation and your breath. Never move into pain. Listen to your body and appreciate the feelings of expansion and balance.
Modified “Down Dog”: Stand behind chair with feet hip distance apart and hands on back of chair. Walk back until arms are straight. Keeping legs straight, lower the chest and reach back with the tail bone until the body forms an inverted “L” position. Hold this position for 4-5 complete breaths. Slowly return to standing position by walking forward and moving body upright.
Sitting Spine Stretch: Sit on edge of chair with feet positioned slightly wider than hips. Place hands on thighs. Sit tall as if a string was pulling the crown of the head toward the ceiling. INHALE, look up and arch the back, opening the front of the body. EXHALE, lower the head, drawing the belly button in and round the spine into a “C” shape opening the back of the body. Repeat 4-5 times.
(Breath pattern may be safely reversed on this exercise for different sensation)
Seated Twist: Sit on edge of chair with spine straight. Cross left leg over the right. Place right hand on the outside of the left thigh and left hand behind on the seat of the chair. Pull up through the crown of the head and turn the head and shoulders to the left to look over the left shoulder. Hold this position for 3-4 complete breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Arm and Chest Stretch: Sit on edge of chair, spine straight. Interlace the fingers. Straighten and reach arms forward while turning the palms away. HOLD for 2-3 breaths. Keeping fingers interlaced reach the arms overhead with palms facing the ceiling. Drop the shoulders away from the ears. HOLD for 2-3 complete breaths.
Strengthening your core muscles is a great way to let your body lead you into feeling stronger and more confident as you discover and share your unique gifts and talents with the world. Additionally, your posture will improve, and you will feel better!
Here are a few simple exercises to bring strength and energy to your solar plexus and core muscle groups. Go for sensation, not pain. For most of these, engage your core by drawing your belly button toward your spine.
And remember to BREATHE!
There are many ways to increase and manage your energy level. Two of the basic everyday tools are
Food and Breath.
The quality of what you take in pays huge dividends in the quality of your mental and physical energy and the energy you can effective share with the world.
Remember to consciously breathe deeply throughout the day. This helps keep your body and mind oxygenated and energized. Pay attention to times when you may be holding your breath while focusing or concentrating. If you catch yourself doing this, pause, and take a couple of deep breaths.
Balance your intake of complex carbohydrates and protein. We need both types of food for a clear mind and an energized body. During cold weather we often reach for the comfort foods high in simple carbohydrates and fats. Choose instead complex carbohydrates and combine with lean protein for the best fuel for mind and body.
Carbohydrates stimulate the release of seratonin which produces feelings of calm and peace. Choose complex carbohydrates of whole fruits, vegetables, beans, brown rice, and whole grains.
Proteins stimulate production of the neurotransmitter dopamine which helps with mental focus and concentration. High protein foods also help you feel full. Protein is the only nutrient that can build, maintain, and repair our cells. Choose from fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, low fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, peas, beans, lentils, nuts quinoa, seeds, soy milk, and tofu.
Remember, the better the energy that goes in, the better the energy that goes out. You feel better and your everyday experience is better!
Watch the video below if you want to learn the healthy way to breathe.