Our ancient forebears lived in the sea. They swam, floated, undulated, extended, contracted and thrived in a watery medium. Surrounded by air we are essentially sacs of water moving on the earth learning to survive without the healing support of the ocean. In just a few minutes we can come into contact with our former selves. Our fluid, dynamic, non-linear, juicy, free and buoyant identities can be reclaimed.
Begin standing comfortably and breathing easily with your eyes gently closed. Try to maintain slow even breathing throughout. Take a few moments to check in with your self. Ask and answer, “How am I feeling?” Scan your body and notice any sensation. Make a mental note of anything special that is calling out to you. Any pain or discomfort, any excitement or relaxed feelings, any areas hard to access or numb. Whatever you find.
In this practice you will bring your attention to your joints and move them each in turn in an effort to lubricate and soften them. Following the patterns of the sea, you may choose undulating motions or spiral motions or any other gentle motion that feels right. You can start anywhere, I personally like starting with the fingers. There are so many joints to explore so many digits so many different motions. And as you work the fingers and hands the wrists and elbows will cry out for inclusion and you will respond by getting them involved, first letting the wrists lead and seeing what they call forth and then when you are ready moving onto the elbows.
Try to stay loose and receptive. Let whatever joint you are focused on lead your movement but let the rest of your body support what you are doing as well. Try to give every joint some time before you are done. There is a joint at the top of the spine below the skull, approximately between the ears, give it some play. Don’t forget to loosen the jaw and bathe it with fluid motion. At some point you may want to change your relationship to gravity, coming onto all 4s or lying on the ground to give your back, hips, legs and feet fuller range. Work slowly enough to be monitoring the feedback your body offers and continue to follow it. If you find yourself in repetitive motion question if that is what your body is really asking for or are you stuck in a groove? Keep listening and responding.
When you are feeling finished take some time for a final check in. How do you feel now? What does your body feel like? How does it compare with how you felt before? Each time is different but I often find that I feel more relaxed, steadier, enlivened and focused than when I began. I love that this kind of shift is always just 5 minutes away and wish I would remember to take advantage of it more often than I do.
After you try it, I’d love feedback on how it went. If you have any questions about the instructions, please let me know. This is a variation on an experience I enjoyed in a Continuum Movement workshop with authorized teacher Elaine Colandrea. Anything we like about this we owe to her teaching and anything lacking in the instruction is my fault alone.
Ray has been a yoga practitioner since 1969. An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, his livelihood has been based on television production, art publishing and now yoga supply manufacturing and sales at YogaLifeStyle.com. Until 1997, Ray only shared his yoga practice with friends and relatives. Then he started teaching a class in his hometown of New Paltz,NY and soon after was offered the opportunity to participate in the inaugural teacher training program of well known master Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra. Ray recieved his certification and his Sanskrit name “Yogeshvara Om”, in September of 2000. In the lineage of Swami Gupta, our main credo is simply, “Be Nice.” According to Ray ” Through love and good intentions, discipline, hard work and faith, progress is assured.” More musings and yoga instruction like this can be found at Ray’s blog Everyday Yoga .