Just when I thought that I had the formula to increased self-awareness, a few exercises on mobility seemed to have shifted my ideas on automaticity and programming. It wasn't just about paying attention to the different muscle groups, but acknowledging my defects, that made me want to improve. Mobility, as it turns out, is meant to help you function better on a regular basis. Unlike passive stretching (widely used for flexibility), mobility looks at long-term changes in the viscoelastic properties of muscle (Stephens, et al. 2006) , and when practiced regularly, could increase muscle length.
Mobility and Presence
What surprised me the most about mobility was the precision and speed at which I had to practice. It demanded that I take things slow - slower than you could possibly imagine - and tune in to every muscle, bone, and ligament in me. It seemed to be increasing a gentle awareness of my body's actual state and went beyond the typical "body scan". Basically, it had taken me to new heights and I wanted to do more. While my daily routine already consisted of mindfulness, movement, and meditation; mobility took all three aspects of my practice and encouraged me to explore the mind-body connection some more.
Body Sensation and the Brain
Body sensation is ruled by the somatosensory cortex of the brain. Particularly, the anterior insula and anterior cingulate, which register sensation and activate certain thought processes and behaviors. When these regions are overstimulated, a false registration of body sensations may trigger defective thoughts. Mobility was showing me how my outward physical behavior manifested my internal programming.
While mindfulness taught me to connect with my breathing and explore body sensations passively, conscious movement and neural awareness helped me explore my physical and behavioral blocks.
Mobility and Chakra Energy
My physiotherapist provided constructive criticism on my movement. With him, I observed my tendencies and took it a step further to explore my chakras - a hindu system that believes we have energy points along our spine which correspond to certain psycho emotional needs. He was precise in his assessments and I took his feedback as an opportunity to explore further healing. My body was actually giving my psyche feedback on my root, sacral and throat chakras.
So it appeared that my communication channels were a mess and the message just wasn't being delivered the way I was hoping it would be. Belief systems in my root forced me to assess my sense of worth, compassion, and understanding. And in my sacral, the acceptance of myself in relation to an other. The more I reflected, the better I became. And the more I practiced, more blocks started to loosen up, opening my chakras on a whole new level.
When was the last time you checked in with your body? And how have you paid attention to the way you move? I encourage anyone who is looking to heal the psyche to explore mobility as a form of healing your chakra energy. While it may seem out of the ordinary, it will benefit you greatly as you begin to teach your neurons to rewire the mind-body connection.
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