I’m just finishing an intense 5-day Breathwork Training Workshop. It’s been an intense week with conversations about bodywork, philosophy, psychology and the breath. My mind was stretched to experience new ways to process my life’s experiences so far and other vantage points from which to view what might be ahead.
One of my big takeaways from the week is that it’s most often not in the action but in stillness and realignment where we unearth the courage to be open to the possibilities ahead.
Mountain pose is the most basic pose there is for practicing stillness and alignment. It is standing tall with your feet squarely underneath you so that you can steady and ready yourself for meeting life. Mountain pose seems simple yet each segment of the body finds the balance between structure for steadiness and softness for possibilities.
Find the four corners of your feet and root into the earth. Really root down and find an energetic connection. This doesn’t mean you are rigid, just connected. Your ankles become the soft shock absorbers that temper the movement.
Hips and legs
Find the alignment with the hips and pelvis, square yourself over your legs and play around with bending your knees and straightening your legs to find the place of balance.
Ribs, collarbones and heart
Imagine you could press your heart forward toward your sternum from the inside with a slight squeeze in between the shoulder blades. Soften the collarbones and feel your ribs spread with each breath.
Neck and head
Imagine your head is like the head of a bobble doll, let it go side to side, forward and back to find the place of balance. Imagine the crown of your head reaching toward the sky and the entire spine finding space from tailbone to the base of your neck.
Open your palms to face out away from your body.
Once your body is all aligned and you find the stillness, come to the breath. Long deep inhales, through the nose, and long deep exhales through the nose. Stand in mountain pose for 8-12 breaths. Notice what sensations, thoughts and emotions come up. Be a mountain and let them pass like clouds. Find the certainty and strength of the mountain.