During an Awareness Through Movement afternoon, there can be many moments of revelation and realisation. Each person participating will have their own light bulb moments, each takes away a particular possibility, perhaps multiple possibilities.
After yesterday’s ATM at The Life Centre in Romiley, an experience of darkness and breathing has given me a reminder of how to link some simple moves in a way that might help me relax my body-mind. After too many nights waking in the early hours, tossing and turning, I’m feeling sleep deprived. So tonight I intended to use a few of the explorations of connections experienced in Friday’s ATM workshop and see if that helps me to relax into sleep instead of staying wakeful with discomfort.
Resting on my back, I’ll cup my hands so that the cupped palms protect my eyes. For a few minutes I will allow my eye-brain to enjoy the darkness in my eyes. In the darkness, the eyes can rest from the waking, lights and stimuli. In the darkness, giving attention to this experience gives the visual cortex relief from painting it’s own pictures and running stories. Instead of my usual habit of being aware of pain and then getting into a problem solving loop, trying to ease into sleep.
The next small step I’ll take is to move my eyes from right to left. Slowly and gently. Moving with ease. In part, I know that it will feel good to have my attention rest on moving that doesn’t hurt. Enjoy these small moves. Gently, left and then right.
In our workshop I noticed that my breath became synchronised with the movements and I felt waves of relaxation. Eyes right with an inhalation. Eyes left with my exhalation.
This relaxation response might be deepened with some counting. Inhalation, one. Exhalation, two. Inhalation,3. Count to 10 and start again.
Will this help me sleep? Well, I won’t know this until I try it. What I know already, because I experienced it in Friday’s ATM workshop, is that I will be able to be relaxed in the darkness. And that will be better than the alternative. A new choice. Something different. Worth a try.
What did you learn yesterday? What is your take away move? How has ATM given you a better alternative? A possibility for more ease?