The man behind the mask

“Decide to remain true to yourself.”   Joseph Pilates

Each week I wake up expecting the world to be put right and some hope to shine through, but each day seems to be another natural or human created catastrophe. The world is like the mother we look to who mirrors what we should feel. In this case the mother is falling apart. So how do we as the children interpret life and move forward safely finding the freedom to explore and play with who we are and who we want to be?

When my child was in 2nd grade the school continuously mentioned the end of childhood was near. The notion of childhood coming to an end at age 7 was preposterous, and it boggled my mind. Looking at this in a bigger perspective it makes sense and mirrors out world right now. At age 7 a child begins to move away from the parent and more toward their peers. They mirror those around them and begin to internalize the judgements of those children around them. As parents we no longer are their center of strength and reason. It is in this new place of uncertainty with a new sense of independence that we begin to learn if we are important to others in our Universe. Are we seen? Are we funny? Do we fit in? Are we judged? Are we accepted? Rarely can we stand securely in our authentic self with certainty of who we are. The normal child begins to try on masks and see which one feels best.

As adults hopefully, we are secure enough to finally take off that mask and stand in our true Power. What I have found so far is it is a process of hiding, uncovering, discovering, hiding and re-appearing. Slowly pealing away the masks of our childhood.

Mind: Speaking our truth is our basic right. Our truth is just that – ours. And yet we are so quick to allow others to judge and insert doubt causing us to lose faith in our own opinions and ideas. When we build masks and hide from our authentic self or hide our true self from other people we become inhibited and slowly dull our light.

Body: When we restrict our truth and our voices from speaking out due to fear of being judged or harmed we hold this energy in our body. It shows up as stress in the throat, neck, shoulders, and mouth. We can either talk too much or not at all, either way we are not being heard.

Spirit: Sound is a vibration of energy that can not be seen but we know exists. Similar to this there is a energetic field surrounding each of us. Our goal in seeking our truth is finding harmony or resonance. We need to learn to communicate with the energetic vibration in and outside of our bodies as well as each other and the world. We also need to remember that communication is both speaking and being heard while also listening without judgement. It is an open flow and not one direction.

Exercises

  • The best way to move energy in the throat is through sound, singing, OM chanting, humming, and breath
  • Front Splits on the reformer (can also be done on the mat as Crescent Lunge)

IMG_6448

Why? The lunge when done with arms extended upward or behind the head will open the chest while also keeping the abdominals engaged and alignment in place. This exercise is a great stretch for the front of the body and can also help align the neck and shoulders.

Other Exercises for opening the throat, neck and shoulders

Swan

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Short Spine

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