In response to ben’s post last week I thought that it would be helpful to review the practice of centering. Creating Balance was a three-part series that I’ll review over the next few weeks. After which I will expand upon the ideas presented here.
Wherever you find yourself reading this – take a minute, notice where your feet are. Notice your posture. Where are your shoulders in relation to your hips? Is your breath deep or shallow? Are you breathing consciously or unconsciously? How aware are you of your surroundings?
Now take a minute, put your feet firmly on the ground hip-to-shoulder width apart.
Have your knees bent 90 degrees.
Sit up so your shoulders are directly over your hips.
Now, gently raise your diaphragm – notice how your shoulders drop when you do this.
Relax your feet by wiggling your toes and letting your arches soften. As your feet relax your legs will relax.
Now, take a nice easy breath up through your hips and into your upper chest and shoulders. Did your breath rise? Try it again.
Notice your breath as it moves up through your pelvis, past your belly button, through the diaphragm and into your upper chest. Now, take another easy breath. Allow yourself the luxury of feeling what an open flowing breath feels like.
When your breath flows freely from your pelvis into your upper chest and shoulders you are CENTERED.
Centering when seated is the starting position to begin a meditation practice.
Practice maintaining this position and focusing on your breath for 3-5 minutes once or twice per day. Next week I will introduce some basic breathing and visualization techniques to begin the meditation practice.