Our thoughts guide us and lead us down a thousand different trails daily. To get them under control and to focus yourself in the direction of your desires, take a moment to change perspective with this easy and effective Spinal Flex.
Every day presents a new opportunity for discovery of our habits and tendencies. How will you spend your finite energy today? Will you create an energetic loss or discover forms of renewal? Will you fritter away your vitality on petty arguments or by repeating worn-out modes of behavior? Will you consciously straighten up (maybe literally as well as figuratively) and decide to spend your emotional & mental energy on the upliftment of yourself and the world around you?
Some of our thoughts are like fantasy pools that may so entice us to linger and swim, that we end up drowning within them, moving nothing, drifting aimlessly. Other lines of thought are hard trails of gritty determination like a challenging hike through dense woods, or sometimes, more like a hot, dusty, track through a lonely desert.
Our mental meanderings could bring us to sandy shores of infinite knowledge that expand, clear and sharp to the horizon, like a Hawaiian beach in summer. Oftentimes, however, they end up depositing us into murky bogs where the sucking mud of our buried pain and bitter resentments hold us fast by our soggy boots.
You can, however, at any given moment simply use your internal compass to get off these pointless and meandering tracks that spiral in seemingly random concentric circles, always moving, yet never quite reaching any resolution. Wouldn’t that feel great? Aren’t you tired of wandering yet?
Simple pranayama breath and adjustments to your body’s physical posture can quickly give you a real break in just 5 minutes. Use that 5 minutes wisely to end the endless-seeming thought trails that may be literally taking you nowhere. Afterwards, when the fog has cleared, you can get your bearings straight again, with a clearer mind, and refreshed the sense of perspective. You can then take new stock of the terrain around you, and choose to go into other, more promising directions.
Mental navigation is tricky – sometimes we just can’t see the forest for all those trees.
Try this posture and get off the beaten track:
- Start sitting in an easy pose on the floor, or upright in a hard chair.
- Close your eyes and roll them upwards and inwards to focus on the middle part of your mind. Inhale through the nose as you lift through the top of the spine straightening your entire back.
- Rest your palms on your knees. Exhale as you curl down the spine all the way through each vertebra, until you feel your pelvis tilt your tailbone underneath your body. Enjoy this stretch of the spine into a curved “C” shape.
- Inhale, rolling upwards stretching the heart, chest, and chin forward, and use the gentle rhythm of your breath, to flow and curl, upwards then down once again. Do not stop. Become more fluid. Allow the entire spine to become flexible and soft. Imagine each vertebrae moving independently from the others.
- Continue to rock this way for several minutes, enjoying your breath expanding in your lungs, filling your bloodstream with oxygen, and enjoy this gentle stretch throughout your entire spine.
Your whole body will become more limber and fluid as the muscles warm up and your body relaxes. Tap into the experience of pumping fresh cerebrospinal fluid back up to nourish your brain, refreshing your thinking, and clearing away tension. Feel your lungs breathing ever more deeply as you move – opening them to greater capacity, and then naturally letting air be released as you curl the spine down once again.
This posture practiced daily for at least 5 minutes, will noticeably increase your mental stamina, improve your sleep and clarify your direction. Use this practice as well when you feel creatively blocked, This exercise will make you feel very, very happy to clear a path away from the incessant monkey mind chatter, to the beautiful shore of serenity.