By Elizabeth Claire Burr.
Scroll down for a guided meditation video.
The word pendiculation means ‘to yawn’ and it is a three-part process of contraction, a slow mindful release, and then letting go. This process is natural to our being. When an animal, for example, experiences trauma, it moves into a pendiculation process. So it contracts, releases, and lets go. The animal doesn’t hold onto trauma – the mind doesn’t hold onto trauma and make a story of it – because it is able to let it go. Animals release trauma more readily than humans do because the mind grasps onto the trauma and makes it concrete in the body.
When we hold trauma in our bodies, over time it becomes sensory-motor amnesia.
Continue reading Pendiculation and Healing
By Veronica Kallos-Lilly and Richard Harrison.
The psychotherapy field has a long tradition of promoting therapist neutrality and ignoring the person-of-the-therapist. In fact, in some approaches, therapists are actively encouraged to check their “self” at the door. The reality is we bring ourselves into our sessions whether we intend to or not. When we do so out of awareness, we risk getting in the way of the therapy.
For instance, many of us will be able to relate to this scenario: Imagine one of your clients, Mark, coming in for his 5th session complaining and expressing discouragement.
Continue reading The Inner World of the Psychotherapist: Tuning In, Staying Present
By Joyce Hawkes and Helen Folsom who will be presenting Cell-Level Healing: Wild Awakening for Health at Hollyhock in Sept.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is uniquely designed to keep us safe in dangerous situations, and it may be key to our remarkable survival since we began to walk the earth. The SNS kicks in when we are faced with any perceived danger, and instantaneously biases the body and mind for action to protect us. Powerful chemicals pour into the bloodstream; our higher brain functions, immune system, and digestion go offline; blood is diverted from the interior of the body to our muscles; the heart races; and blood pressure rises.
These days, in the workplace and at home, that automatic system is still at work ramping the body up each time a threat presents itself. Here’s the rub – it takes 3 days to metabolize the biochemistry of each event. The workload, the deadlines, the bills, the nightly news, grief, heartache, driving downtown – none of these may appear as scary as a tiger, yet the body responds in the same way, and the result is a metabolic backlog that the body can’t clear before the next event arrives.
Continue reading A Little Cell-Level Wisdom — Flight * Fight * Freeze
By Leslie Davenport, who will be presenting Deepening Climate Advocacy at Hollyhock in June, 2017.
Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order. -Samuel Beckett
Movement is life: the rhythm of our heartbeat, the ebb and flow of tides, the turning of the seasons, the cycle of our breath. Even the youngest infant expresses a range of core emotions in the language of movement. It’s a tiny dance with an arching and contracting torso, flailing arms and legs, before releasing the physical energy of delight, fear or frustration into sound. Continue reading MOVE THE EARTH
By Lauren Walker, who will be presenting The Art of Energy in Yoga at Hollyhock. Audio meditation found below.
A powerful way to shift things in your life is by aligning your unconscious thoughts with your conscious desires. Yoga Nidra is a simple and elegant way to do that. Through a guided meditation, you allow the mind to relax and soften and then you insert a conscious desire while the mind is like soft clay. This desire, or vow, called a Sankalpa, helps you align with your deepest truth. Sankalpa translates literally as – the vow made in the heart that is greater than all other vows. We are constantly making vows to ourselves, and some of those vows are unconscious. These could be powerful internal voices that we don’t even realize are ‘vows’. Things like, “I’ll never amount to anything,” “No one will ever love me,” “I’ll never get a job I love.” Even though these just seem like our internal dialogue, they are actually vows that our internal computers read and enact as if they are computer code.
Most of you know that our behavior is run almost 90% unconsciously. This is why we keep getting the same outcomes in our lives, despite the fact that we really, really, really want to change and transform. But change is not always easy. There are energetic flows in the body whose job it is to keep you from change. Even when that change would be good! All the yoga and meditation and running and swimming and dieting and praying and vision boarding in the world won’t help you change if you can’t get your energies to agree to change too! This is part of the power and magic of Energy Medicine Yoga. In this modality, we work with our energies, and help them transform, so that the rest of our bodies and minds can follow. And one of the most powerful practices to help us change is Yoga Nidra coupled with a sankalpa.
Continue reading Yoga Nidra (Audio)