It has been a while since I posted a blog: I have been very busy teaching! I have written out this visualisation, and you can hear it on You Tube. I have done this for men as well as women.
This is a visualisation on an important meridian which is the only one which passes horizontally through the body. It passes through our centre and supports the connection between our upper and lower body. I have written about this vessel in Strengthening our core . If you are familiar with its points you can connect with them through touch before doing the visualisation, but remember that it is much broader than simply a line passing through points. It is also helpful before doing this visualisation to do some exercises to get some movement in this area of our body, as it is often quite congested, due to the amount of time which we spend sitting.
If you want some ideas on exercises and movements, you can refer to my blog on Belly dancing: standing exercises and movements and a pregnancy connection.
Once you have moved for a little, focusing especially on moving your hips and pelvis, find a sitting position, but rather than sitting in a chair, if possible, try to see if you can sit on the floor.. in a meditation style position. You can sit on a cushion. You can sit with your legs crossed or you could be kneeling. Do try to ensure that your spine is upright and you are not slouching.
Lilian Kluivers (who wrote a blog for me) has kindly drawn a picture of the Girdle Vessel
but if anyone would like to contribute a picture of what you see as you focus internally, I would love to receive it. Jo sent me a lovely drawing which I have now included on the visualisation I did on the Heart Womb visualisation
If you are really not comfortable sitting unsupported, you could sit in a chair or lean your back against a wall or try sitting on a ball.
Begin by noticing the position in which you have chosen to rest. How are you feeling? Which parts of your body feel comfortable and relaxed. Are there any parts of your body which feel tense or congested? How connected are you to your legs and feet? How connected are you to your chest, arms, head and upper body? How connected are you to the centre of your body?
Notice the movement of your breath, as you breathe in and as you breathe out. With each out breath, gently allow yourself to breathe out a little more slowly and a little more deeply, without straining the movement of your breath in any way. ..As you reach the end of each out breath, take your time to allow the in breath to arise in your body. After a few breaths, begin to be aware of your whole body again….and start to feel your whole body with each breath. With each out breath notice if any of the tenser areas have begun to soften. If there are any remaining areas of tension then allow them to soften with each out breath. Become aware of your legs and feet…feel how they are resting on the ground.. notice the quality of your connection to the earth below… Become aware of your arms and upper body. Notice the space around them.
Now, gradually become more aware of the centre of your body. Begin by being aware of your navel and see if you can feel, with each out breath, that you are drawing your navel in towards your back. Let your attention go deeper into the centre of your body. As you breathe in, feel the space between the navel and the back increasing. How does this space feel? Does it have a colour? A texture? Whatever you connect with, gradually allow it to spread out around your middle. Allow it to become larger so that it eventually includes all of the area below the bottom of your ribs all around your body from front to back. Feel it spreading down towards the top of your legs and passing through your pelvic floor muscles underneath. What does this area feel like, both inside and outside? Place your hands somewhere on the front and back of this space.
Become aware of your abdominal muscles…Hopefully as you breathe out you can feel them drawing in and your hands moving closer together. If this is not the case, spend a few breaths allowing this to happen…As you breathe in, try to feel your abdominal muscles lengthening, rather than simply pushing them out with the in breath. To help you feel this lengthening, become aware of the movement of your chest and lungs filling with air as you breathe in and feel that movement of filling up moving down into your abdomen, so that it also lengthens. Feel this movement also happening in your back. As you breathe in your spine lengthens. As you breathe out, there is a drawing in, a softening. As you breathe in, feel the top of your spine and your neck being drawn up towards the sky above you and the bottom of your spine, being drawn down towards the centre of the earth. As you breathe out, feel more of a connection to your centre.
Breathing out, feel both of your hands drawing in towards you. Imagine the middle of your body being squeezed like the middle of an egg timer/hour glass as you breathe out. With each in breath feel the hour glass/egg timer straightening out. Feel this movement around the sides of your body.
Now become aware of the movement of your pelvic floor muscles as you breathe. As you breathe in and your abdominal muscles and spine lengthen, feel also that your pelvic floor muscles benefit from this lengthening and there is some space and relaxation created for them. As you breathe out, feel not only the shortening and drawing in of your abdominal muscles, but the shortening and drawing up of your pelvic floor muscles as well…
Feel how this central area supports you. You can imagine that it is like a large corset wrapping around you… covering your abdomen from your pubic bone.. to right up under your ribs……expanding around your lower back…from your ribs down through the areas around your spine to your coccyx, tail bone… Feel your pelvic floor underneath..
With each out breath, feel this Girdle drawing in around you. and supporting you deep inside your body. With each in breath…feel it gently expanding and giving you space…
Now start to allow your attention to go deeper and deeper inside this area… right to the very centre of your being. What do you start to feel?
There are many organs contained inside this Girdle, in Chinese medicine called the Dai Mai, but I would like you to first focus on your energetic Kidneys: these represent in Chinese medicine where we are coming from, our past.
The Kidney area is at the back of the Girdle Vessel, Dai Mai: it is below your actual physical kidneys and is centred around your lumbar spine, below your ribs. Interestingly, while we were developing in the womb, our kidneys started developing lower down, from within this area. Feel how it feels. For the Chinese, the Kidneys and the space between them are about our Essence, where we are said to arise from at the moment of our conception. Focus on this space between the Kidneys, Ming Men, Life Gate. What sense do you have of the moment of the spark of your conception: the meeting of your mother’s egg and your father’s sperm to create you. And in that meeting are joined not only the energies of your mother and father but of their parents, your grandparents, your great grand parents and your ancestral line. Give some space to see what feelings and connections come up as you allow yourself to feel how your ancestors have supported you.. What are the gifts they have given you? Allow yourself to be surprised: it may not be what you have expected.
Now start to connect with your reproductive organs which lie towards the front of the Girdle Vessel Dai Mai: for women physically these lie deep inside the body, but also for men, there are aspects of their reproductive organs which lie deep within as well as more outside their body. The Chinese called these organs for women “the Palace of the Child”, and for men “The palace of Essence”. How do they feel in your body? Give yourself some time …….
Our “palace” is a space for our connection with our creativity and new life in all its forms… of course new beings in the form of children, but also new ideas, new projects, the expression of our sexual energy …our potential…Connect with this energy of your potential in its many forms… your future….be surprised at the infinite possibilities contained here……
Allow yourself some space to allow any aspect of your creative energy to express itself….What needs to be created? Spend as long as you need to in this space.
When you are ready…..
Now start to feel the connection between the Kidneys and the Palace of Child/Essence……How are you being supported by the past ? and where are you going to in your life? .. Breathe.. with each out breath…give space for this connection with the past and future…and feel the present in between…. Stay within this cauldron of your being as long as you feel you want to……………….
When you feel ready, gradually start to become more aware of your physical body in this moment. ..…become aware of your breathing.. gradually begin to be aware of how your Girdle vessel is feeling now.. the quality.. the texture…..Feel how it is supporting you now.
Gradually with each out breath become more aware of how you are sitting and how the rest of your body feels. Feel with each out breath how you are drawn inside yourself, to your centre, and with each in breath feel how your spine lengthens. As you breathe in, feel the connection down through your spine and feet to the earth below you and through your neck and head to the sky above you. Feel the earth and sky supporting you.
When you feel ready open your eyes….
Give yourself some time after coming out of this visualisation. You might want to draw or write about what you experienced.
If you would like to share any of your thoughts, please do so.
Such a powerful visualisation, it really helps capture a physical and energetic sense of the body. And I love Lilian’s illustration. I feel relaxed and stronger in my core just looking at it!