The biggest lesson in the past 2 years is that by closing my eyes, I can guide my mind to specific parts of my body and make a connection with my physical body and the organs inside me. This beautiful experience where I become aware of my physical body is a portkey (some strong HP influence 😉 ) to dialogues with my body. I am able to tell my body to show those places of stored up emotions – to request my body to support my physical exertion of walking or workout – to gently guide me and talk to me about what is ailing there – to let go of the resistance to those postures or workouts.
Now, there is this person K who works at a job that demands that she stares at the screen for 8 hours a day – the shoulders bent unnaturally over a keyboard, constant drumming of fingers on the keys – all these happen 5 days a week. Our body has the capability to do all these postures and all of them at the same time also but not continuously for 8 hours with very less time to relax. Here K can think of taking 5-minute breaks every hour or so where she can work on opening / expanding her shoulders to keep her body in a comfortable posture. The point to note here is when we are aware of our body and posture, we take better care of it!
Have you observed the blacksmith trying to hit the heavy hammer on hot iron? As he takes the hammer up, he allows his shoulders to take all the weight and bends his back – arching nicely and then comes down, doing the opposite – letting the shoulders loose, bending forward, and in that force makes the iron take shape as his wish. For every posture you do with your body, we need to do somewhat the opposite or the one that will relieve us from that posture! If your posture is your kriya (action), then the opposite or counter is pratikriya!
A relaxing posture that has helped me a lot is this – after standing long hours in the kitchen, cooking during festivities, I relax my legs and lower back by going to 90 degrees lifting of legs against the wall for 15 to 30 minutes. This is so soothing and helps me to regain my standing posture without any back pain. While my standing posture during cooking is the kriya, lying down with my legs against the wall is my pratikriya.
When we listen to the body, become aware of the body, we hear those simple cues from body parts very clearly to rest and do pratikriya, for every posture we hold!