Mobility first, flexibility second
Did you find yourself deepening your meditation apply through the COVID pandemic? Hi there! Me too. Sitting for no less than half-hour on daily basis posed some stunning challenges for me, and I’m an individual with plenty of physique information and an extended historical past of constant apply with my physique.
I’m a physique knowledgeable and lifelong somanaut, so on the skin, my meditation place appears fairly good. However on the within – yeesh!
I’ve nerve injury in a single hip joint, shoulder ache, sciatica or some sort of radiculopathy in my sacrum and left leg…I’d found out methods to look after all of these items earlier than, however sitting that a lot introduced all of it again and compelled me to pay extra consideration.
I couldn’t “simply do it.” My thoughts couldn’t settle if my physique was in misery. So I needed to up my “physique compassion” apply and I’ve made some discoveries that I’d like to share with you in case you too are struggling! Even when you don’t “sit zazen,” possibly you’d identical to to have the ability to sit on the ground or floor extra comfortably.
Getting near the earth is great. This sequence of posts and movies will provide help to with that too.
Caveat: I’m not a meditation teacher. I’m a physique knowledgeable, however new to constant each day meditation apply in a explicit custom. I’m a learner identical to the remainder of you.
Once I checked in with my college students and my fellow sangha members, I discovered that the primary grievance is tight hips, and the primary request was for hip opening stretches.
“I can’t sit for greater than half-hour with out having screaming again ache and numbness in my toes and legs. If I’m on retreat, I simply sit in a chair, however even that’s uncomfortable after awhile.”
There are two details I’d wish to make firstly of this mini-series on hip flexibility:
1. Physique compassion and self acceptance are core values for me, not non-compulsory.
Meditation is about consciousness via our our bodies proper now on this second, not distortion of our our bodies. After we stand out as totally different from others in our bodily talents, we deserve acceptance and care not simply from ourselves, however from our communities. I’ve practiced meditation mendacity on my again, mendacity on my facet, sitting in a chair, and plenty of different methods at totally different factors in my life. Generally individuals have a look at me askance, however typically I get just a few rogues becoming a member of me behind the room too.
Possibly you aren’t bipedal, by which case this weeks video received’t provide help to. I really feel humbled by the quantity of labor we have to do to make meditation areas really accessible to all, and am simply starting to take a look at this concern.
2. Mobility is a precursor to flexibility and a greater precursor to extended stillness.
I used to be shocked after I noticed the variety of excessive hip flexibility movies on the market in Youtube land. The advantages and drawbacks of what’s referred to as “static stretching” are advanced, and the jury remains to be out. I feel it’s completely important, regardless, that you’ll be able to retain mobility potential on the finish of your muscle size, and that it is best to by no means pressure your physique right into a place that it’s tremendous clumsy to get out of.
I like to recommend a brief, enjoyable exploration of mobility, coordination, and joint vary earlier than meditation, and that’s what this weeks video is all about. Deeper stretching is one thing I’d suggest after extra rigorous bodily exercise.
Would you be inquisitive about a dwell course on opening up your hips for meditation? Let me know! I’d like to do one.