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home : blogs_old : health in motion August 19, 2014

Health in Motion
By Cheryl Van Demark, PT
Cheryl Van Demark is a registered Yoga teacher, Yoga therapist and physical therapist with a Masterís degree in physical education and exercise science. She has enjoyed over 25 years of helping individuals optimize alignment, restore movement, build strength and cultivate a balance in body mind and spirit to pursue joyful living.
Thursday, July 11, 2013

How To Relieve Your Heavy Heart

Cheryl Van Demar, pT

A collage offered from our hearts...

Our community moves with a heavy heart as our breath is taken away by the catastrophic fire events in this tragic fire season. If we consider "e-motion" as energy in motion, it makes some sense to use motion to help us acknowledge and move through the spectrum of feelings in our heavy hearts. At Body Language Studio, we are working together to process our feelings and to offer one another support. This blog offers you some of our more simple movement practices to work with at home so that you can emote.

I invite you to begin in standing with your feet at hip's distance apart and your palms placed together at your chest. Feel your breath creating a gentle rise and fall beneath your hands. State a silent intention of allowing yourself to witness your feelings and let their energy move through you, without becoming overwhelmed by them.

Stand tall and picture Granite Mountain and the boulders and hillsides of Yarnell. Recognize the immense power and unpredictability of nature. Concede that we have suppressed nature's natural cycles of cleansing with low intensity fire and now are bearing witness to nature's behavior when we disturb her natural cycles. The same is true with humans-as that which we suppress can become a destructive power. Recognize that while we can observe and measure nature's power, we cannot control it. Recognize the concept of having control as illusory. Feel your feet firmly rooted on the ground. Consider how we might become better steward s of our earth.

Next, clasp your hands behind your lower back so that your chest has a nice stretch. Rise up on your heels slightly and come up to a small toe balance. Fill yourself with a sense of courage. Imagine the courage it takes to fight wild land fires. Envision the courage of those who do this season after season. Feel how full your breath becomes as you breathe with your feelings of courage. Consider what you do in your life that requires your courage and feel this connection through courage to our fire fighters. Return to simple standing, with palms together at your heart center until your heart and breath slow a bit. Extend your courage from your heart to the families of the deceased.

Sit at the front third of the seat in a non-rolling chair. Leaning forward with hands on your thighs, lift your bottom out of the chair about one foot and remain in a semi-crouch with your heels down. Feel the endurance it takes to stay here for a while. Imagine the endurance it takes to dig a fire line on steep terrain with heavy tools while wearing protective fire gear! Imagine how incredibly hot it is; how labored you might be breathing, how sweaty you would get and how your muscles would grow weary! It would be natural to want to quit from this high level of effort, yet they endure. Extend admiration for the physical strength and the endurance of these firefighters. Celebrate their physicality! Sit back down in the chair, place your hands back at your heart center and acknowledge what you must endure in your life that is difficult. From where in your body to you draw the power to endure? From this place in your body, offer to send out your power of endurance to help in the grieving process of our community.

Return to standing. Take a large step forward and slightly sideways with one foot and bend this knee to assume a stable lunge stance. Keep your back leg heel planted. Open your arms wide and intend to keep them there. Embrace a feeling of heroism. Expand your breath from head to toe with the power of feeling heroic. Extend this feeling with honor to all those who serve to protect us and our way of life every day. Recall something you have done that feels heroic. Magnitude of scale is not an issue. Return to simple standing and with soft fists cross your arms over your chest, right first then left in a protective gesture until your heart and breath slow a bit. Feel tremendous gratitude for their service that protects our land, property and our lives.

Conclude by lowering your head to the level of your heart and exhale. Raise your head back on level on an inhale and feel the effect of these activities on your heart space. If you wish, use your right hand to spontaneously draw some type of a symbol for this event and then close your eyes and allow your left hand to free form scribe something that expresses how you feel. May you move and breathe with a lighter heart this moment. If you wish to view the collage we have drawn reflecting symbols of nature's power, human courage, endurance and heroism come by Body Language Studio.

Related Links:
• Body Language Studio

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