In speaking with some colleagues about centering techniques as a means of creating spaces for growth, I owned that though beneficial the process can at times be intimidating. To highlight the use of these practices, I’m sharing some of the techniques I use with others below. When offering these, be sure to pause and speak in an authentic voice. The intention of these practices is to shift a group’s energy so that it enters a more unified experience.
Tadasana: Stand with both feet rooting down towards the ground. Stack your hips above your knees and shoulders above your hips. Feel yourself pressing down into the ground from your hips and up towards the sky from your belly button. Ease the shoulders down and you lengthen your spine up towards the head. Imagine that your inhale lifts up from your feet and that your exhale roots down from the top of your head. Continue to feel the rooting and lengthening of your body for approximately 2 minutes.
Contact Points: Sit in comfortable seat and bring your awareness to the space between your feet and the ground. Notice where your feet both begin and end. Sense the space where the ground begins and your feet make contact with it. Then feel the space between your thighs and the seat you’re on. Sense the pressure of your low back against the back of your chair. Feel your shoulders as they touch the backrest. Continue to sense the spaces where your body begins and ends for approximately 2 minutes.
3 Part Breath: Take a deep and full breath into your belly. Feel it expand and widen. Exhale it out as you feel your belly button press back towards your spine. Next time you inhale, breathe deeply into your belly and shift some of the air into your ribs as they open wide. As you inhale again, fill the belly, expand the ribs and let the air enter your chest as your collar bone slightly lifts. Continue breathing in this pattern as you feel the inhales expand the belly, the ribs and then the chest. Allow each exhale to bring your belly button towards the spine as you fill and empty your lungs for approximately 2 minutes.
3 Cleansing Breaths: Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Take a deep and slow breath through the nose (if your nose is congested use your mouth). At the top of the inhale begin exhaling through the mouth even slower than you inhaled. Breathe in this way for two more rounds with your belly expanding each time. As you breathe, focus your mind on the sensations of the air flowing in and out of your body.
Gratitude: Take a pause, close the eyes and think of something you are grateful for. Be it a pet, a family member, friend, food, whatever first comes to mind that grants you a sense of gratitude in the world. As you do, feel your heart. Imagine that what your grateful for sits right your heart’s center. Experience this silent moment of gratitude for approximately 2 minutes.