Last week, I wrote - The techniques for building flow that I have laid out over the last four weeks can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Using ritual practice to help build flow and create habits that help create consciousness is critical to the process.
I thought it might help to start by defining the word ritual and then take you through the process of practicing our ritual.
A ritual is defined as: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
The Ritual: Standing Center
Take a moment and center yourself. Think about your foot position; how you’re holding your shoulders; and your breath. Do you feel centered? Here’s the test – Can you take an open flowing breath? Did your breath rise from the bottom up? If it did, that’s great!
If not, don’t worry about it. Let’s go through standing center step by step so you can be confident in your ability to re-create it at any time.
Start with your feet hip to shoulder width, just like seated center. If your feet are too wide, it locks your hips and if too narrow it makes you unstable. Now, relax your feet. Soften your arches and wiggle your toes. Soft feet will give you soft knees. If your knees are locked, you will not be able to soften your feet. If your feet are tight and rigid your legs will follow suit. Soft legs will let your hips stay open and relaxed.
Slightly raise your diaphragm so your shoulders will drop and relax. Take a nice open flowing breath from the bottom up. Did the breath rise up into your shoulders? If so you are centered. If not, start with repositioning your feet and go through the process again.
If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not you're centered, just breathe. An open flowing breath always means your centered. If your breath doesn’t rise, then you’re not. It’s really that easy. Although it might seem foreign at this time, with practice you’ll find centering will get easier and easier.
Centering is where anything and everything should begin.
This week, let’s once again focus on the process of centering. Practice often. I’ll discuss the next phase of the ritual process next week.