CST and the happy hangover. Vinyasa Flow yoga.
While I talk of practising loads of different therapies and alternative techniques, it occurs to me that I don’t actually stick at any of them for very long. And if even if I do rack up as many as three sessions, as I have with my EFT and CST, I somehow still don’t find the time to practise on my own under my own steam. I wonder whether this resistance is anything more than simple lack of discipline. Because, cue the excuses, my time is just so limited right now, I am often coming home, tending to the most basic necessary admin tasks, eating and going to sleep. Weekends hold different and unexpected treasures, and I’ve yet to work out how to incorporate regular practice of whatever therapy I’m trying with a social life, a work life, time to relax, time to continue my education, and a full-on relationship.
My boyfriend J actually suggested recently that we put aside a regular or ad hoc 20 minutes to meditate together, which I would really like to do. The next few evenings may not be possible, and whether we ever have sufficient peace in the set-up of our dwelling place is dependent on factors outside our control, but I would not like to forget that this idea was voiced and agreed. It should be acted upon whenever possible.
The latest craniosacral therapy (CST) session was different to the last two. I said to the practitioner at the end that it had ‘put my life into perspective’. I’m not sure that’s a lasting feeling. I was asked by B to think of a happy memory, preferably one in which I was alone. The memory I chose was Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, 9am on my birthday in May 2012. I had been drinking for many hours and had just arrived in Glasgow via sleeper train. I had walked to Kelvingrove Park via my hostel on what was to be one of the hottest days of the year in the entire country. The feeling of coming to the park was of pure unbridled happiness – mixed with exhaustion and no doubt giddiness from over-consumption – but I felt boundless in every way. As I took my well-chosen place facing the sun, steep hill as my pillow, and pulled the eye mask over my eyes, my last thoughts before I fell into a deep sleep were of pure contentment, repair, rejuvenation, excitement at the days and nights ahead, endless possibility and above all, freedom. That feeling of freedom was so real, I can feel it and summon it up now. That’s what I seek to capture. That’s what makes this experience so happy and authentic for me looking back two years on. So much has changed in my life and I find it hard to identify with a lot of things in the past, but the Kelvingrove Park experience I hope will remain accessible.
What B was trying to get me to do in reliving this experience was to locate the feeling in my body. We waste a lot of energy in our heads, and hence our bodies are left depleted. Using this CST technique, the hope is that through learning where good, positive feelings (such as happy memories) live in our physicality, we can much easier bring them to the fore in times of need. This is because the body is far more present than the mind. The mind is bogged down with its filters, its beliefs, neuroses, imaginations, machinations, memories and is often operating in the past or the future. Our bodies manifest how we are feeling just as much as our thoughts, just in a different way, that we in the West aren’t tuned into.
I was asked where in my body I can feel my Glasgow happiness, but it was a real struggle to feel it anywhere other than my head truth be told. At first I said I could feel it in my core or stomach, but it wasn’t a strong sensation. At a later point I said it was on the surface of my skin, but I was clutching at straws. Obviously this will take some practice and perhaps research.
Today I tried a new type of yoga called Vinyasa Flow. I went along with an open mind not knowing anything about it, and it was – like all yoga in my limited experience – very tough. There was a lot of going from plank to downward dog, then adding other elements to the routine so it got longer and tougher! Balance was difficult as you needed to be able to support yourself on one leg, and it required a lot of stamina and core strength. Ouch. I liked the more gentle stuff. I liked it at the end, we all sat in a circle cross-legged with our knees touching, and each hand on the knee of another person. I liked when we rubbed our (own) hands together after applying a cream that the instructor had made herself, and when they were hot, placing them on a part of our body that needed healing. I placed mine on my head.