Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meditating with color

Recently I have been working with color in my meditations and self-healing work. Mostly blue and green to calm and relax. Green is supposed to help cleanse and move ill and stuck chi from old wounds. Blue soothes and calms inflamation. I have used both colors, often green followed by blue, on the chronically tight muscles in my back. The method I use is to visualize the color flowing into the area I am working on, where I feel tight. As I gain more practice this becomes easier. In my inner eye, the colors swirl and flow more easily through my body now than they once did.

My meditation class is also working with colors right now. Last week my meditation teacher challenged us to figure out what colors we have around us most and which the least. Blue and green have been my favorite colors for years, long before I knew to use them in healing work. I surround myself with lots of green and blue: several rooms in my house are painted either green or both green and blue. Next prevalent I think is red, then yellow and orange. I also have a number of earth tones around me: tans and browns. But almost nothing around me is purple, save a few shirts that I wear, and I have no fuchsia in my life.

Her challenge to the class was to find ways to increase those colors around us. I took a fun shopping trip to World Market (one of my favorite stores) and picked up a few glass candle holders in purple and fuchsia, and a pillow containing both colors. They make me happy. Perhaps now I'll be more conscious of those colors and try to bring them into my life more.

From a healing perspective it interested me to learn from the book we've been using that purple is a very strong healing color and can be used anywhere blue is used for healing. I had read this before, but I think I may have been intimidated by the strength of the healing qualities of the color. Reluctant to grab that for myself. Interesting.

In the meditation we did at the end of the class, I sent purple throughout my body. I had a lovely meditation and felt fantastic after ward. The purple was not difficult to visualize. In fact, it swirled through my body in a gentle, lovely fashion.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Solid foundation

Wow, it’s been two month since I wrote anything here! I guess that's because things are pretty much going on fairly well. I have settled into a very comfortable exercise routine made up of physical therapy exercises for the low back, qigong, and yoga. It takes about 45 or 50 minutes to do all the exercises that I like. During the week I do about 30 to 35 minutes twice a day. On weekends I usually spend an hour exercising and stretching. I usually like to try a new qigong exercise at the end of my routine on the weekends, and do some meditating as well.

I have been getting stronger. I can do Warrior 1 now, at least on my more energetic days. The feeling of strength in my legs and core that I feel when doing that pose really lift me. It makes me feel solid and grounded.

As you can see, I have much more flexibility and strength in my low back than I have had in over a year. To help regain that flexibility, Pigeon pose and a modified Cobra pose (always followed by Child’s Pose) have been part of my routine for months.

My favorite qigong exercise for spine flexibility is called Turtle Neck. I sit in Baddha Konasana and scoop my head down and forward, then up, and then back and down. The head basically moves in a forward circle in the air and the spine follows. It’s called Turtle, but the movement seems rather snakelike to me. Doing the movement with the legs stretched forward works the back in a slightly different way, lower down the back.

It’s absolutely essential now for me to listen to the needs and limitations of my body, which can at times vary on a daily basis. Some days I manage only a few seated forward bends and perhaps a side bend or two. Other days I feel much stronger. I have been seeing, though, continual improvement, though at almost a glacial pace. As long as I have patience and don't push, things work out okay.

The chiropractor I was seeing through all last year closed her doors at the beginning of this year. I’ve been seeing a new husband and wife chiropractor team since late March. I like this practice. Bonus: they have massage therapists on staff so I get massages covered by insurance! However, perhaps because of their different adjustment techniques, my mid-back is now unstable and tender. Still, I feel confident the soreness there will work itself out. At least I now have a good foundation in my stronger, more limber lower core.