Bodyfulness is simply the practice of making the feeling state of the body the focus of our attention. Taking a breath or several with this focus. Beginning with an exhale, Body Relaxes. Then inhaling, Expand Around The Hips. Going into this area of the body helps me truly get in to the feeling state of my body. The head, it can be anywhere pretending to be in the body but i have very little success being in my body and even in my third eye chakra (which is a little sad to me, and probably quite impactful on my spiritual awakening, but we are where we are); being in my heart is better, I feel more embodied, but the heart is the relational space and for this practice I need to show up even before the relational space and just check in with this body and where it is right now. For that, I need to go to my hips. It’s also the area of the species and tribal chakras – both areas that I need to activate in love. I largely ran from them in disdain most of my life (wanting to transcend this human malarky and divorce myself from a culture i viewed as misguided). I’ve got to bring healing to this kind of mentality, and I do it through focusing my attention on the feeling states. Just a few minutes, many times per day. I learn a lot. I relax a lot more than I ever have. I’m more sensitive to my own being and others’ and nature and Life Itself. Solid use of time and attention.
Another benefit to breathing in and around the hips, or carrying this visualization and intention as I breathe, according to my Tai Chi instructor it massages the organs that are usually getting compressed with chest breathing. This is helpful with digestion, and digestion is VERY important to Bodyfulness.
Bodyfulness is also bringing attention to the process of the cells – by tending to the breath we are becoming more intimate and aware of the process by which That Which Keeps Us From Being A Corpse (TWKUFBAC – not an acronym I’ll be using with any regularity. I’m going to keep refering to it as Life Itself) brings fresh life from all over the planet into our lungs which distributes it to Every Cell in our bodies in a joyful dance of receiving life and the excitement thereof, and then relaxing and releasing that which is no longer vibrant to the cell. That’s happening through every blood cell, muscle, organ and tissue, every breath. Receiving the new and releasing the old. Focusing on this rhythm, this dynamic with the Body Relaxing (BR-) and then the Expanding Around The Hips (-EATH) for a full BREATH cycle we can start to feel the aliveness in the cells and encourage the release. Paying attention to our digestion makes sure we’re providing the mechanism for the full release in the body.
Sometimes, some of us have a bit of trouble letting go of things. I know I’ve held on to thoughts and feelings that have not served me or anyone else. Being in this dynamic of aliveness and release regularly has untied some of the mental and emotional knots I’ve carried. I’m no longer primed for panic. My body was always ready for the next crisis. Poised and ready to jump into action. This is holding on. This is staying in the Sympathetic Nervous System which releases cortisol and other stress hormones. No bueno. Giving our bodies time of release of that “on call” nature, that “ready for the next problem (won’t catch me unprepared!)” for even just a few breaths per day, soon problems will have to prove themselves before they activate tension, and in doing so, many will resolve themselves before making any real progress.
Seriously, though, too, make sure you’re caring for your digestion. Getting this stuff out of the body is key.