Three Practices for Holiday Calm
The holiday season tends to make everyone frazzled, tired, and slightly anxious. We tend to exhaust ourselves while we take on a multitude of tasks, attend too many holiday parties, and attempt to meet the demands we imagine our families have placed on us. While we are so busy pleasing and caring for others, we forget to take care of ourselves.
Sometimes we don’t even realize our need for self-care until it feels like it is too late—we are fried and seemingly beyond repair. I propose using the embodiment practices below as a barometer for our capacity to feel sensation and get grounded. If we can feel sensation, we can honor the popular saying: Be here now. If you can feel your breath, body, and voice, you are in the present moment.
Three embodiment practices to be here now:
Physical: Feel grounded through the six points of the feet as you stand. Each foot has a triangle point in the center of the heel, the joint beneath the big toe, and the joint beneath the pinky toe balls of the feet. The sensation of the triangle in each foot works to balance your body and mind. You will feel your arches lift and feet engage with the ground when you balance your weight evenly amongst them.
Carry over this awareness to your standing practice. Play with standing in Mountain Pose and feel the six points. Pivot on one heel so the foot rotates out on an angle. Feel the six points. Step the other foot forward while keeping both feet in line with the sitting bones at the bottom of the pelvis. Feel the triangles in the feet. Bend the front knee and inhale while bringing the arms up, exhale while bringing the arms down and straightening the front leg. Feel the triangles of the feet through these actions. Return to Mountain Pose. Feel grounded. Did you feel the six points of your feet the whole time? Try this for the other side and see how it feels.
Embodied Voice: Explore the Y-Buzz for vocal power without pain. Start by humming on an N consonant. Feel its vibrations on the upper gum ridge (this is where the tip of the tongue makes contact with the area just behind the upper front teeth). Once you feel the vibration, feel a Y consonant (as if hesitating to say "yyyyyyyyyes"). Hum the Y consonant on different pitches. Let it waft down in pitch until it's vibrations are at the same place as where you felt that of the N consonant. Once you feel vibration here on the Y, fine-tune it with a "yeeeee yeeee yeeee" pulse. No need to push here-- feel the vibrations for yourself and you will develop a potent, yet powerful speaking voice. The Y Buzz is therapeutic physically and emotionally. Hum the Y Buzz every day to feel connected to your voice. You can speak in the Y Buzz current for a rich, warm, and resonant voice you can feel while you express yourself. Dive deep into this practice in my online course “Embodied Voice: Feel Dynamic.”
Meditation: Say “YES.” Sit comfortably and notice your breath. Let your breath bring your awareness to your feet. Once you feel sensation in your feet, silently acknowledge with "yes." Bring your awareness to your ankles. When you feel sensation, say "yes." Scan up your legs each joint complex at a time. Say “yes” to each complex. Feel the whole of your legs. Say “yes.” Continue in this way up the body saying "yes" to the awareness you bring to yourself. Sit with awareness of your whole self for at least five minutes to feel focused, grounded, and free.
You can explore each embodiment practice daily for renewed energy, mental clarity, and grounding. Comment below how these practices help you. If you want more information about them, contact me. Happy holidays!