How do you consistently remain alive during life’s demands? How do you adapt? Are the adaptations you currently incorporate helping you live in harmony? Being alive is being fluid in response. Being alive is being in balance from the foundational support that your bones give. Establish balance from a sustainable resource, the bones, and discover your potential.
Learning new patterns to replace habits that limit freedom of well-being can be challenging. Habitual patterns of posture for sitting and standing which unknowingly limit the flow of your circulation of life force energy, Prana, are perhaps the toughest to change. Typically, when there are changes required, we don’t realize how the bones can be that foundational support.
Life is challenging, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes eliciting means to survive. The body and mind do the best they can in the attempt to meet the demands from you and your environment. The stress response of the body, if elicited during these demands can diminish any biological and physiological healthy rhythms leading to symptomatic signals of unease. It is a resonance in the nervous system that registers dis-ease from unsupported activity. Symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, cold hands and feet, decreased appetite and difficulty digesting food all relate to an overwhelmed system.
A standing posture can be helpful in cultivating the supportive essential qualities for a path toward balance. Stances can also simultaneously aide in cutting and removing habitual “holding” patterns limiting your current state of being. Patterns developed from adaptations you needed and that may have been necessary during a certain time of your life. How you dealt with a demanding or stressful experience – survived, managed, or thrived. With a relaxed focus on the dynamisms of a stance, you begin the process of feeling the body’s innate wisdom for balance – harmony.
The bones are that balance point. Balance point where there is no binding stress on the system. Rather an acceptable demand that facilitates circulation and change. How you move from balance, through balance, to balance is one of the key elements of how the bones support optimal function. Bones represent quality of concentration, physically as the most solid and physiologically as the most vascular.
The bones are most associated with the earth element because of the mineralization and density. The bones are “well-baked,” holding the qualities of the fire, AND are the most metabolic tissue. They are built to support you! When the practice utilizes the bones for support, it:
- Reduces the muscular effort for support,
- Decreases stress responses to daily demands,
- Creates the quality of Dharana, which is essential for Dhyana (meditation),
- Generates a gentle internal heat for metabolism, and
- Improves circulation for all of the body’s functions.
Stability from the bone brings lightness and relaxation. Optimal load bearing and “alignment” brings optimal fluid dynamics to all tissues. By being in a stationary position such as goat or horse stance, your entire body’s ability to facilitate and integrate change is supported by the work-horses of your legs – the bones.
Practicing in the Bones
With a standing practice, the body must have the capacity to remain in a stationary position and maintain circulation, without binding or holding. This is part of the body’s natural ability to support you, just as a horse knows how to sleep standing up. One of the keys is the feeling of lightness, fluidity and ease during and after the stance. This is a measure of how long one is sustainable in stationary work.
A standing practice can help you realize what supports you. The practice can also provide a glimpse into the understanding of non-violence, because the demand on the structure asks us to release our old ways, and surrender to something stronger and more powerful than our means to survive. You may be amazed at how much energy you have been using to hold yourself up. What is the sustainable enduring essence within you?
Solution – Develop balanced foundations with the 4POINTS and Yin Horse
Here is some guidance for the Yin Horse:
- Stand with shoulders over outer edge of ankle joints, and then move your heels out so the toes are in more than the heels.
- Feel the 4POINTS on your feet (see animation above), to establish balance in your foundation; as you notice the settling onto the four points, if one or more points are not as engaged with the earth, try not to mechanically roll the feet or ankles to adjust, rather soften the feet and extend your awareness to the edges of your feet – nail bed or first toe, space between the 4th and 5th mound, backs of heels leading back and down into the earth. Keep allowing the feet to soften and feel more fluid like.
- With the hands soft, place them on your low belly below the navel in a way that the elbows and shoulders are relaxed and there is no tension in the chest or neck.
- Entering the stance, lower yourself down 1-2 inches onto the balanced 4POINTS from your ankles, with the top front of your shins weighting the heels, and avoid pushing yourself down into the stance which will produce increase weight onto the balls of the feet and lightness in the heels. Feel the difference if you are not understanding – push yourself down, and notice your ankle, knee, hip joints and the spine. Do they feel compressed? Try lowering yourself from the feet and notice the difference. Optimal outcomes will be realized over time as you develop vertical support through the bones and spaciousness in the joints.
- Depth of stance remains at 1-2 inches, no deeper. As you begin to allow the body to be supported by the bones, especially the shin bone, you will want to go deeper. Can you stay at 1-2 inch depth and allow the internal release that feels like you are going deeper, when in fact it is the release of what you habitually hold up that is releasing down.
- Avoid stress by overdoing, pushing down into the legs, holding in the knees, hips, buttocks, and/or spine. These holdings are very common when the cultivation and development in the bones to support you is young. “Young?” you say, “I am 45 yrs old.” Rather than age, I am referring to a development of circulation and neuromuscular (or neuromotor) patterns of support that is usually associated with muscles, rather than the bones supporting you. Holding in the muscles or resting on the joints, which is a more common habit, can be your default and, therefore, “stronger” than this new way of being in your legs.
- Be patient, accept your capacity and persevere with trust your body can do this. Your development is dependent on practicing with awareness, and then integrating that awareness through your day by feeling the support of your legs.
- Recommend doing this in the morning, mid-day and in the evening before bed 2-3 minutes at a time. Build to -> 5 minutes, -> 8 minutes, -> 10 minutes, -> 15 minutes over a 6-9 month period. Give it time and have no expectation of it coming sooner. Once developed, your body will hold a wonderful support level that will serve you for a long time.
- The above guidance in the video is a great resource. Be patient with feeling the more subtle aspects of the stance that are mentioned about the pelvis, the breath and the spine. Be comfortable being in the stance first noticing support and then releasing onto the bones; then your awareness will have more capacity to observe the other things that happen. It took me 3-4 years to feel the things I am sharing.
- Keep practicing with this or other stances to further your development, depending on your desires and your needs.
- Join me for a class!
- Schedule a session!
This can be transformative by transcending some of the barriers to your healing potential!