EMBRACING THE COLD

I went for a walk last night.

It was cold…it was very cold.

The fresh air felt good though.

So, I’m walking

And as I’m walking I notice that I’m clenching my toes.

I’m clenching my toes against the cold (like that’s going to help).

But that is something we often do in cold weather:

Brace against the cold!

Except I found it doesn’t help.

But this does: Relaxing into the cold.

So, I decide to relax my toes.

Even to spread out my toes.

Feel the spaces between my toes.

And, as I’m walking, I relax the balls of my feet and my arches, and my heels and my ankles.

And, as I’m walking, I try to be aware that my knees are aligned over my feet

and my hips aligned over my knees

and my shoulders over my hips

and my head balanced (like a ball) floating on top of my spine, weightless.

(So, instead of clenching against the cold, and cutting off oxygen to my extremities I’m actually opening up the blood flow.)

And, as I’m walking, I want to make sure my arms are swinging freely, my jaw is relaxed (and not clenched), my mouth is relaxed, and my tongue is relaxed at the floor of my mouth.

And, as I’m walking I become aware of my breath.

And, as I breathe in (make sure you have a scarf/mask over your mouth in below freezing temps)

I feel my lungs fully fill as my diaphragm lowers.

And as my diaphragm rises, and I push the air out, I make sure I fully push out all the old, stale air.

And as I’m walking, I continue to breathe and walk rhythmically

And I have a subtle sensation that I am no longer aware of the cold but am breathing fully into my body.

And, as I walk, and breathe,

I feel my breath like a figure eight

one continuous circle…

Air in

Air out

One continuous breath, my body moving forward as a whole.

And, as I walk I feel the figure eight’s path.

It starts behind my belly button, goes out the back between my shoulder blades, around the back of my head, down the front of my head, through the center of my body (navel), around and under the back of my pelvis, in front of my abdominals and back through my belly button. One continuous breath.

Now, I have my relaxed body,

my breath,

my figure eight,

my movement forward,

And it’s all working in unison.

Now, as I feel my body, I notice I am no longer aware of the cold outside, but that I am getting a fully complete, fully oxygenated workout.

As you continue to walk, you might start to notice that you feel tension in other body parts. Just use the breath to breathe through them…breatheBreathe (2 am) the tension out.

(We hold a lot of tension in our extremities…but that’s for another post.)

Bundle up, get outside and get oxygenated!

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