Gratitude, From My Breath To My Feet

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Each week we are be exploring a restorative yoga pose or breathing technique with images/video and tips.  Check in at Lacuna Loft on Wednesdays to anchor your week with peace, grounding + community (and don’t forget to join the dialogue all week long by posting comments).  Excited to journey together! (Today our yoga post…about abhyanga…is coming to you a day early because of the holiday week!)

I find that coming into winter and coming into the holidays is loaded with meaning, emotions, relationships, gifts to buy, food to make, travel plans… all these things that my “type A” brain wants to run with.  So much activity, so much excitement in the body – whether the season is joyful or challenging.  Sometimes my brain has been in the future so much (planning, anticipating…), I realize I’ve missed part of the present.  It has just slipped by as I played a movie in my brain about what is next.  There is so much noise that I lose track of the here and now.

And then there is part of me, in the midst of the doing, that is tuning into winter and wants to hibernate.  Eat dinner at 5 pm and be in bed by 8 pm.  Read more.  Snuggle more.  Take baths.  Come inward.

So what can I do to reconcile these pieces of November and December in American culture?  I need to get present and get grounded… so let us give some love to our grounding feet and be guided by the season of “thanks-giving” and use gratitude to center in to the right now.

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Ingredients:

–  your feet (or hands, or any body part!)

–  optional: some nourishing oil like sesame (good for warming) or coconut (good for cooling/calming)

Cozy up with your feet and begin rubbing warm oil into the muscles and bones that knit together to form these beautiful and essential parts of our body (this practice in yoga is called Abhyanga, and it has a ton of benefits).  Imagine all the little bones and muscles needed for our ankles, feet, and toes to move in so many ways (or look here for an image).  Massage along the pressure points and chakra points of your arch as illustrated in the drawing (the colors are the chakras).  You can find these points by applying pressure with your thumb along the edge of the foot and walking up 1/2 inch at a time.  When it feels good, you know you’ve hit the spot.  Then, as you massage oil into each toe, think of something you are grateful for about your feet.  Find the deep, deep gratitude in your heart for these feet that carry us around to see the world and our loved ones, that give us balance as we climb rocks, and that give us movement to dance and play!  Enjoy your feet this week as they carry you.

Feel free to give yourself a little love anywhere that suits you this week – and give thanks!  Our bodies, however they are today, are a gift!