Grounding Our Awareness

Abdi Assadi, Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Author, leads us through an exercise to ground our consciousness and awareness into our physical bodies to create body-mind relaxation.

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Hi, my name is Abdi Assadi. I’m a healer, spiritual counselor, and author. I was thrilled when my dear friend and colleague, Thomas Moore asked me to contribute something to the Calm Collection. I’d like to teach you a really simple relaxation exercise, which involves grounding our consciousness, our awareness, and our physical body.

If I tell you ‘Try to relax,” oxymoron – I couldn’t ‘try to relax’ – what I’ve found from doing healing work, and also doing biofeedback for a decade – is that if we turn our attention from this hyper cerebral constant thinking that we do – into putting awareness in our physical body – relaxation is a natural byproduct.

So, we’re just going to start by first adjusting our posture [pointing to his chin with his index finger from his left hand]. Tuck your chin in a little bit and [points with his left hand to the back of his head] and elongate the back of your spine – from your neck towards the ceiling. And that simple adjustment by itself starts slowing down the nervous system. So when we’re stressed out we tend to stick out [Assadi moves his head, chin forward, towards the camera] our jaw out. When we actually pull this [points to his chin] in, which is part of many meditation practices, automatically our nervous system starts slowing down a little bit.

Next, drop your breathing to your belly. So, you take your breathing, which, for most of us, is shallow and thoracic, and we actually drop it down into the abdomen. Now bring your awareness down. Become aware of your shoulders [outlines his shoulders with his left hand] – let them drop. Leave your arms on your thighs– let them get nice and heavy. Be aware of your upper back, your middle back, and your lower back. Be aware of your hips, your thighs, your calves, your shin bone. The chin is in [points to his chin with his left hand] the spine is elongated [waves towards the back of his head with his left hand]. Breathe into the belly. Let your body get nice and heavy. And now really keep awareness of your feet on the ground.

So now we’ve gone from the head-heavy to feeling heaviness in the body, especially the lower part of the body. From the energetic perspective, where your awareness is is where the energy flows, so by kinesthetically bringing awareness throughout the physical body, the body-mind goes into relaxation. So, anytime you feel these feelings of helplessness that we’re all feeling, the feelings of grief, of anxiety, of fear, take a couple of seconds and pull yourself into your physical body. Ground your consciousness in your physical body.