Here are some good practices that I find useful to bring into daily life, as they have helped me stay engaged with the world and try to make it better while also feel at peace (even with strong or unpleasant emotions or feelings) in the core of my being, most of the time... :)

Monday, October 30, 2023

Tapping into the Wisdom of our body through Yoga, Somatic Movement Education and Embodiment

My Journey

Yoga has provided respite for me and healed my back injury. In 2009, I was diagnosed with disc degenerative disease. In 2015, after 200 hours of yoga teacher training course and daily practice, my xray scan reported that the disc spaces retain normal height and no significant degenerative changes were identified. Yoga appealed to me not in the sense of achieving challenging poses but rather it touched me on a deeper and more therapeutic and meditative level as I always find harmony and balance in the practice. This is not to say that I don't have injuries from my own practice. I do have pain from certain poses and that led me to search for answers. Why does my back always hurt in backbends? Why do my shoulders, neck and arms hurt when I practise shoulder stand and head stand? These pains always remind me that alignment is key to a safe practice.

In recent years, I explored moving and stretching through the different body systems such as our bones, organs and fluids. That addressed some of my pain points. Even my concept of core strength shifts from holding in the spine and contracting my muscles to freeing of my spine by finding support in the contents of my body. As I also have digestive issues, freeing of the spine releases the surrounding nervous system and gradually, I find more sensations within my digestive system and am able to feel satiety so that I do not overeat. 

I found a breakthrough in my chronic back stiffness when I explored my organ system, more specifically my kidneys. The fascia was pulled in towards my kidneys so I experienced a release diagonally from my opposite shoulder and hips, as well as a relief to my one-sided headache. I didn't know about fascia then but just felt something that connected my shoulder, head and hips to my kidney was released. 

At the same time, I came across Body-Mind Centering (BMC) Center in Australia and it was offering somatic movement education courses on ligaments and fascia as well as endocrine in-person. Although I did pre-recorded courses on these topics with the founder of BMC before, I felt that I still couldn't grasp these subjects fully. So I went to the BMC Center in Australia and I'm so glad that I did! I can finally validate my internal processes with a teacher and put words to inner experiences. 

Somatic Movement Education and Embodiment

Somatic movement education is a process of embodiment that demands the practitioner and teacher to respond to and follow the courses of nature within the body and in relation to others who are practising together. In this manner, the work itself is a natural process of continual evolvement. Embodiment is being conscious of what is happening in the body - as a whole, a body tissue or a single cell. Somatic Movement Education provides extensive hands-on embodiment practice and techniques as well as in-depth theory that gives language for the sensations and experiences in our body. 

Ligamentous and Fascial Systems 

Ligaments join bone to bone, organ to organ, and organ to bone. Fascia is a membrane that wraps around organs, muscles, and runs underneath our skin. Ligaments and fascia are connective tissues. Through the embodiment of my ligaments and fascia, I released constricted ligaments which brought my bones back into alignment which in turn equalised joint spaces so that the bones move in equidistant from each other instead of compressing towards one another. This process nourishes and rehabilitates the joints by improving circulation to the equilised joint spaces. At the same time, the ligaments reintegrate into the fascia planes and muscles are returned to their optimum condition to move the bones in the most efficient manner.  As a result, our movements become precise and whole-istic rather than move as isolated parts. 

Endocrine System

Through the embodiment of my endocrine system, I experienced the various crystalline psychophysical states of different glandular systems as well as the tensions and chaos held within the glands. In an experimental exploration, I intuitively titrate the chaos in the glandular systems while finding support in the less chaotic glands. Ease, flow and strength emerges through my posture, movements and life. The effects from the embodiment of our grandular system can last from seconds or minutes to weeks and even months. Hence, we would want to have a sound and robust grounding practice to accompany the exploration and embodiment process of our endocrine system. I find that going slow is also key to finding the delicate balance between what the body can handle in the moment and overstimulating the system. 

Muscular (Skeletal) System

The muscles establish a tensile three-dimensional grid for the balanced support and movement of the skeletal structure by providing the elastic forces that move the bones through space. Through this system, I embody my vitality, express my power and engage in the dialogue of resistance and resolution. 

My personal experience of ageing is a process of inflammation build up in our body as well as our body fluid drying up - bone marrow drying up (osteoporosis, anemia, anxiety), cerebral spinal fluid drying up (central nervous system, spine and brain related issues, sleep and focus problems, immune problems), joint fluid drying up (joint pain and immobility), inter-organ fluid diminishing (idiopathic pain and symptoms), etc. When I applied the embodiment process and somatic movement education to my yoga practice, movements and life, there is openness, fluidity and receptivity in my relation to myself and also with others in the world. 

Check out my latest offering on Somatic Movement Education Workshops here

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Pause. Hover. Breathe...

Take a pause...

Observe your surroundings...

Notice your breathing...
This timely visitor was darting in and out of view right outside my window. It was hovering so near and seemed so still that I could see its big black eyes and face. Nature always teaches me so much. I just have to keep an open mind and look out (of the window literary) ...

Grateful for this good reminder to take a break and have a micro practice on self care now... 

Take a minute to go through my gratitude list...
Here is a list of short videos to nourish your body, mind and spirit. Don't forget about your eyes too. 

Be well! 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Self-reflections on a full moon

Today is Blue Moon, second full moon in the same month.

It is usually a time of self reflections and giving gratitude to the things I have in life - this has become a daily practice for me but especially so during full moon. 

This month is filled with lots of inner turbulence for me and I am working out some really strong triggers. Today is an opportune time to release the old and past beliefs that no longer works and are actually hurting myself - relationship with myself and others. It is essentially questioning the way I perceive myself and the world around. 

Letting go of baggage is an ongoing and painful process which I find worth every of my effort. I find this new habit helps me reclaim vitality and the zest for life. Every single day, I am getting a little better than the day before - maybe it is an awareness of myself ruminating and bringing my attention back to what really matters. It could also be allowing myself to rest more instead of pushing myself further whenever I feel tired. Bit by bit, I tidy up my space. 

Here is my full moon renderings - questions that help me refocus on the possibilities and my potential. 

Blessed full moon and Happy Halloween (and day of the dead)!

May the past be dead as we invite vitality and passion for each living moment.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Personal Space and Boundary - Easeful Witness and Acceptance

The wonderful thing is that within this personal boundary, we create our own personal space. This means we can fill our personal space with loving kindness and self-compassion, especially if we are usually too hard on ourselves most of the time. We can fill it with excitement and inspiration instead of fears of the unknowns and worries over uncertainties. We can look at the day as an adventure or a practice instead of a daunting task. There are so much possibilities. If you are 'stuck' in the downward curve, try thinking of the opposite to ride the curve up. Of course, you can also choose to ride the curve down to uncover what treasures are buried deep down to unlock your vitality and reclaim yourself, in a wholesome way, without judgement or criticism. This is what we are doing for practice 2. 

Whatever it may be, always remember that this is a journey where we honour our feelings and our emotions to uncover who we really are - without the thought patterns (which can be self-destructive), beliefs (which are usually false in the larger scheme of things), and habitual behaviour (such as self-loathing and criticism), all of which I have had! :D

Here is sharing my experience on self-acceptance and finding ease within my skin, literary. I noticed that with practice of personal boundary and space, my eczema heal faster. More on eczema separately...

Here is practice 2. This is a relatively more advance practice. It is built on practice 1. It is recommended that you try out practice 1 for at least 1 week before coming to this video. Practice 1 can be found here.

This practice explores our emotions, beliefs, thought patterns and sensations based on the foundation of anchoring within our body as a safe haven without judgement or criticism. Just open your eyes if you need to stop the practice anytime. Take your time to explore this. Be gentle and kind with whatever you uncover here. A beginner's mind with open curiosity would be helpful. Be really interested to know and understand the thought patterns. Through this practice, I found a number of false beliefs of myself. The latter shapes my perceptions of what could be viewed by others as harmless events. As a result, I regularly fall back to this practice as a sanctuary for self-reflections and self-inquiry. It is important for me to fill this space with kindness and self-compassion so that my beliefs (even the deep-seated and even unconscious ones) can be expressed without restraints or filters.

May all be well.

Here is the youtube playlist of practices for personal space and boundary.

Here is the series of practices on healthy personal boundary and space. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Personal Space and Boundary as Self Care and Self Love

It took me decades to realise that having a healthy personal boundary and personal space is a form of self care and self love. This is not a selfish practice. Rather, it helps me align many out-of-place pieces back to their rightful seats... including letting go of those that are not mine. The latter creates space and conserves my energies to work on myself, my life, my passion and dreams. It is not doing others a favour when I take what is not mine to begin with. But without a clear sense of personal boundary and space, I didn't know what is mine and were not...

I am still learning, and the vitality that I have reclaimed excites me enough to begin sharing what I have uncovered so far... 

Herein, my story... 

Tapping into the Wisdom of our body through Yoga, Somatic Movement Education and Embodiment

My Journey Yoga has provided respite for me and healed my back injury. In 2009, I was diagnosed with disc degenerative disease. In 2015, aft...