I love lying on the floor, but I know ‘most people’ don’t necessarily do this and who can blame them if most floors look something like this (right)? In order to see what’s been written out there in the mainstream, I just googled ‘benefits of lying on the floor’. I’ve been exploring and experiencing the benefits of flooring myself for some while now, training in body awareness, self-care and somatic wellbeing. I’ve learnt to really, really value clean, clear ones! The articles I found on google match my experience and highlight the forgotten truths about how much time we are conditioned into spending in fixed positions and movement habits: sat in chairs at tables, standing, walking etc, all about being upright, goal-oriented and focused on external awarness. Our work and home environments are made to keep us off the often dirty or unpleasant to touch floor spaces. I realised how few and far between are the purpose-built floor spaces where not only sho’d feet dare touch and rest upon them.
So, how is it in your home? I posted a few months back about clearing and creating a dedicated patch of floor in your home where you can freely and comfortably lie, spread out and roll side to side. Here’s another little nudge of encouragement! Maybe you want to invest in a blanket which covers the space you need, which you can unfurl and offers you a texture to lie on which delights you!
Give your body a treat and let it show you how much pleasure can be found when you make the conditions right for you to follow the pull of gravity, rest onto the floor’s firm surface and take some time out to be another kind of creature; a kind that rolls, stretches, rests still and connects to its inner senses… just for 5 minutes if that’s all you can give it. Enjoy!
Dear reader, mover, human being in the world, wherever and however you are when you read this, I invite you to remember and return to your body senses. Just for a moment, go on, pause and feel and allow your breath to be softer, fuller; let this moment return you to your senses and what you need. A chance to acknowledge and keep any of your needs in your awareness to be met now or soon. Simple, Self-care, So important! If you want to receive posts like this to your email inbox, please subscribe below!
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Two spaces available for the next four sessions: February evenings can feel hard to go out into, however, Tuesday evening Origins of Movement sessions (click flier image) are actually an invitation very much to ‘stay in’ your body, journeying alongside other Explorers into worlds of sensory experience of movement, within a most wonderful warm and delicious smelling yoga studio…
The sessions in January have been truely engaging and rewarding, opening the sensory and imaginal connections to wonderment, insight and embodied nourishment!
If you’re curious how movement can ‘nourish’ but are unsure if this is for you, please do enquire with me.
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I invite you to pause and reflect on what you already do for self-care… What do you feel like when you want to connect to yourself and tend to your needs.
I’m offering a short, 5 minute guided recording I’ve made, inviting you to pause, close your eyes and pay attention to the feeling in your facial muscles… take as long as you want after the guidance stops, to breathe, rest and receive your internal experience. In this receptive place in yourself, it may be easier to explore how you’d like to increase your level of self-care this year and wonder how you can get more support to do this.
The effects of massaging your face can ripple into your entire being…
Yes! It’s that time of day (any time is a good time!) – reach for a delicious smelling hand cream to start you on your way to a warming, soothing, enlivening connection with yourself. If you haven’t got any cream, you can still give yourself a loving hand massage, or you may want to put that on your list of necessary items to have ‘to hand’ and get some for yourself. I always keep some on my desk and in my bag for moments when I need a bit of self care and connection.
Hand massage is such a quick way to take in nourishment physically, emotionally and psychologically and can totally reset your balance of awake, restful presence. Try it with these simple instructions. As you massage, from time to time, expand your attention to your breath and to the general sense of your feeling state in your body and adjust what you are doing to support how you feel.
1. remove any rings and bracelets you can part with for five minutes and roll up your sleeves to mid forearm
2. apply some hand cream to one hand and smoothe it in all over the palm, back and sides of your hand and the length of each finger and thumb.
3. with the back of your hand resting in the fingers of your other hand, press with your thumb press into the centre of your other palm and move the pressure with a good feeling of firmness around the area of your palm, as though you’re smoothing plasticene.
4. continue this pressured smoothing up each finger, once on front and back of each digit and then again up the sides. Go with what you feel is a good amount of pressure and time with each. Avoid pressure on any sore or bruised or tender areas and be kind with your intention.
5. squeeze into your wrist and massage it a little according to what feels good.
6. repeat these instructions on your other hand.
Resting your eyes? How often do you remember that your eyes are hinged on muscles, small ones that we work to the max most days! When we focus, look at our screens, read small print, search the horizon, drive, it’s working these muscles, like now! They barely get a rest until we sleep and even trying to get to sleep might be a challenge during stressful times, as our eyes work alongside our speedy thoughts. So in a minute I’m going to invite you to stop reading and look away from the screen. If you get headaches or other symptoms of stress, this may help, if you can practice soft eyes regularly. We need to take more breaks and I’ve recorded a short audio piece to help you settle into your own receptive wisdom, your capacity to rest with what you see and be less focused. Notice what this state can bring you in terms of your feeling connection to yourself inside and also to your imaginative creative self.
This is a post to encouage self-care at this time of year. It’s cold, it’s dark and coming to the ‘end of the year’ but without quite stopping… many people feel they get depleted and maybe we each need to pause at times, just to check in with our own needs and to check in around needs with each other. This ISN’T SELFISH! It’s essential for wellbeing and modelling self-care for others can give them permission to pause too. Please, take a moment and see how you can ‘listen’ or ‘feel’ into what little acts of self-care you can build into your ‘giving’ and how you can support others to pause. Wishing you lots of care for your journey into 2018! If you like this post and want to receive regular posts to your inbox, please subscribe below.
Sometimes making a moment to rest into is hard to allow, especially when we are in the season of giving, but why not make this simple gift to yourself? That is why i offer the guided audio file, to help you make that time.
This photo is obviously slightly out of season (!) but it evokes the sense of fresh air which, for me, encourages a deeper inbreath.
Inhale and enjoy!
Finding sanctuary in your body is a precious experience, which is vital for wellbeing and intuitive connection to yourself. It isn’t always easy to attain because our heads are full of ‘doing’ and our environments are full of the evidence of all the doing! I’m suggesting that if you wish to, in quite a short time, it’s possible to create a space where you can find sanctuary in your body. I offer below some practical tips for creating the environment that supports this.
Do you have a place in your home or elsewhere, with space enough to lie on the floor or on a soft surface? Can you take short periods of uninterrupted time here? do you want to create this for yourself?
In my room, I have some furniture and quite a lot of ‘things’! But I have a patch of floor (left) about 1.5 x 2 m area, with a special rug that I can lie down on and roll to left and right. This is also enough space to stand, sit and feel my whole body able to move. I sometimes need to clear the floor to make this possible, but now, mainly I keep it clear, storing my things elsewhere to keep it open, which helps me keep my mind open also! Over time, and because I require this space for my self-care practice, I have validated and prioritised clearing this space for me to connect to myself. It started with a wish… and changing a habit takes time. Once you have your space, you can keep developing and cultivating it as you and your needs change over time.
Are you ready?! What does your body tell you? Is there a softening and an opening in your muscles and breath? Does your energy feel uplifted or expansive? Is there any resistance or tension? Maybe it’s useful to write something down about why and why not you can then start to work it out. Notice your body’s responses and use these as guidance.
With what you have, let your body show you what you would like to create and where? Maybe it’s time to start maybe even clearing the floor space you’d like to use, and plan how it might be used flexibly if you need to, like I do. Can you close the door to the world outside? Do you need natural light? Do you want soft surfaces and a blanket nearby? Cushions? A colour to attract you in?
Take time now to visualise and feel into what you would like your space to be like. Bless your wish and your body for guiding you toward this vision. If you want to receive more posts like this, direct to your email inbox, please subscribe below. Thank you!