Steps and Squats…and a Bubble
I am going to start our session working on steps, then squats, and finally I am going to finish it with soap bubbles…I know, I know, but I promise you the bubbles are freaking awesome!
So lets start with Steps…How many of you have had to start grabbing a handrail to get up steps? I know I had to use them at one time., and I am so glad to have gotten my balance back.
We are going to start right off engaging our muscles and bringing them to attention if we do not already have them there. By now you should be engaged pretty much your entire waking day, but it can be difficult forming habits. Its ok if you have not been quite that successful, just keep going until we get it ingrained in each of you.
Ok muscles engaged? Good. Now as we stand up pay particular attention to how you are getting out of your chair. Have you been able to give up the chair arms and use your legs and thighs to lift you up? Good! It was more about muscle memory than it was actual strength. If your legs can hold you in a standing position, they are certainly capable of lifting you out of a chair. If not, lets sit down and use the feather method to get us up. You are light as a feather, and you have no problem lifting yourself out of the chair. Remember that weight is a science thing, and you have God in every cell to help you be light as a feather. Very good. Did you feel which muscles helped you to stand up? Good. Notice that each of you felt different muscles. Those muscles that you felt the most strain on are the ones you will want to work on throughout your day until standing up seems effortless.
Now, we are going to approach the steps in front of each of you in a slightly unusual fashion. Notice that they are actually step stools and a bit taller than your average step. Believe it or not, by the time we get done tonight, they will not seem tall at all.
As you lift your leg and place it on the step, I want you to choose your strongest leg and put it on the step. It can be either your right or left, just choose the strongest one first. Now, some of you are already trying to find a handle to pull yourself up, right? And you have not even begun to lift yourself.
I want you to, instead, use the foot still on the floor and lift yourself up to the step by raising up on the ball of your foot and toes.You have now cut the height of the step in half. Who knew putting a box on a shelf would improve your ability to climb a set of steps? Because your muscles are engaged, you are still maintaining complete balance. As you begin to push yourself up, you will feel your muscles begin to transfer balance control to the foot on the stool. Did you feel the transfer? Good. I do not want you to finish stepping up. I want you to feel the difference in how your muscles transfer balance back and forth each time you lift up, and back down. Isn’t your body just amazing? Ok, Lets try this with your other foot now. Again, lift yourself up to the step with thefoot on the floor. Good. And let’s feel this a few times as we transfer balance from one side to the other.
Now, our next exercise, is stepping down. For those of you who do not quite feel comfortable, find a handle or counter to grab as you learn to feel what your muscles need to do. Some of us are not going to just be able to start going up and down steps again without aide. But I am going to show you how to make it easier to get up and down them with your handrails. Because this exercise is so critical to learn correctly, if you have any worries, please just wait until we get around to you. As you begin your descent, you will notice that it is actually the muscles of your feet, upper leg, thigh, and buttocks that you are feeling. The muscles in the leg reaching for the floor that are increasing in power are your calves. Can you feel that? Good. Can you feel the balance transfer? Very good.
What you have just accomplished is to bring stepping from unconscious movement to complete control of every movement. When you are focused, you are in balance. Focus on each individual step in the process. You will no longer have the number of steps you have to climb at the forefront of your thoughts. You will be focusing on one step at a time and ensuring that your muscles comply with your wish. Complete balance as you climb to the top or descend to the bottom. And because you have removed momentum from the job, you are now in complete control and maintaining balance.
On to squats. We have to pick things up of the floor. It is a given and one that can cause us a great deal of grief when we start learning the habit of momentum. If you can keep your shoulders directly over your knees and keep your back straight. your body needs to adjust to keep you in perfect balance and protect your joints. For those of you who have not developed these muscles enough to complete this, I highly recommend the step up as practice to strengthen those muscles. Again, it is ok if you do not have the strength to complete these right away. We have plenty of time to get them strengthened. The rest of our lives. Take your time.
Lets just start with a couple of inches. Begin to squat and feel your shoulders come forward to maintain balance. And stand back up. Very good. Did you notice that your spine stayed straight? That is because it was not needed for this exercise. Very few things we do in a day require us to curve our spine. It is reserved for things like cutting our toe nails or washing our feet. There is no heavy lifting, I repeat, there is no heavy lifting in an average day that requires curvature of the spine. Obviously, there are a few occupations that require it. For instance, a mechanic must curve his spine to lift parts into place or remove them from an engine bay. But even then, if his muscles are engaged, they are protecting the spine as it rotates. He is not allowing the spine to maintain by just the pressure of the ligaments and tendons. He is letting the muscles move the back, thereby protecting it.
Ok, so on to our last exercise. Are y’all ready for the soap bubbles? Bring out the machines! Just kidding! Did you really think I would bring something real out? I am going to ask you to completely clear your minds. Close your eyes and clear your mind of all the debris of the day and the week and just rejoice in all that you have learned about how amazing you and your body are. About how balanced you have learned to be. Now, I want you to take that pride in yourself and your accomplishments, and I want you to use that energy to blow a soap bubble in your hand. I want you to study that soap bubble. Look at all the multitude of colors gently floating around its surface. Is it not amazing that one little soap bubble can carry so many colors? And yet it is white too? Do you see it? all those swirling colors that are so bright it appears white? Isn’t it beautiful? Now, I want you to blow that soap bubble up until you are surrounded by it. You are now inside that beautiful soap bubble full of every color imaginable. You are safe in that bubble. None of the negative feelings outside it can come in. You can feel the love of God in every cell of your amazing body. You feel no fear, no pain, nothing but the love of God within you. Now, I am going to ask you to extend that bubble and combine it with all the other bubbles around the world filled with pure love. Can you feel the love, and the joy that each of you bring to this connection? Ok, now I want you to bring the bubble back to yourself. And I want you to leave that soap bubble surrounding you. You are protected, you are safe, You feel the love of God in every cell of your body and you know that even if there is negativity around you, it cannot come through this bubble.. You can keep this bubble. You can shrink it and put it back in your heart until you need it again, but this bubble is yours. It is your tool. Use it to remove fear and negativity from your life and find peace when you need it. You can open your eyes now.
Throughout this course you have learned to bring your attention back to your body, which means you are focusing Gods attention on your body. Your body is no longer a passing thought that only gets your attention when it is trying to tell you something. You are fully engaged with it every moment. When you are engaged, you are in the present moment. And when you are in the present moment, yesterday does not matter. When you are present, you have also allowed God to be present. And THAT is POWERFUL!
Have an awesome and joyous month! We will see you in April with a brand new subject!