Breath Makes the World Go Round – Including Baseball!

Baseball PitcherI’m a happy girl! Baseball is back! And I love it that it comes at the same time as gardening. Several years ago I was lucky enough to get a Mother’s Day gift of a radio for the outside deck and outside speakers. So when I’m out in the garden, my true oasis, I can also listen to the Giants game. Who could ask for a better way to experience life? My neighbors are even okay with it — they get to listen to the game in stereo. So until I’m told differently, that’s what happens when I’m in the garden. But I do have to admit that my television is set to record every Giants baseball game and many a night is spent watching them — no matter how they’re doing. I just love baseball.

I love watching the players and seeing if they’re in tune with the messages their bodies are giving them. Even if you’re not into baseball, I want to invite you to watch at least one inning of a game and really look at the players and how they “work in” their bodies. Watch them breathe. And think about what YOU are doing during your daily activities. Consider using the baseball game as a lesson in how to be connected to your breath and body movement.

Watch the pitcher and notice whether the diaphragm is open or whether it’s constricted. When the diaphragm is open, the torso easily stretches and the pitching arm seemingly flows through a specifically planned and orchestrated movement. If the breath is “caught up high” you will notice that the torso and arm don’t move as easily together. The dance isn’t there. Do you notice times when YOUR body and breath aren’t moving in an easy, effortless dance? To open up your breath, consider holding your upper arms.

Now notice a batter and how the time at the plate is all about being in breath. Notice the placement of the bat while waiting for the pitch, the flex in the knees, the lumbar curve, the uplifted torso, and even the relaxed jaw. All of these pieces allow the batter to be in good alignment, allow the breath to be fully present, and create readiness to connect with the ball that is coming over the plate. When you see all of these body areas working together you will easily recognize when it isn’t happening. If the alignment and breath are not present you have a batter who is in distress. Do you want your body to be able to always step up to the plate and do what you want it to do? Sit on your hands! That simple “hold” connects with vitality and creates lumbar curve. Then cup the sternum with one hand and with the other, hold your tummy. That opens up breath by relaxing the diaphragm and releases tension throughout the torso.

I love watching the catcher. He’s all about proper body placement. If he wasn’t, we would see him being stuck and not able to stretch and reach for the ball. His position is one I’m often in when I’m in the garden. And if I didn’t have my breath and body ready for that squat and reaching movement, I would probably be a hurting girl. To make sure that I won’t go into reaction when I’m going spend time in a squat, I do these simple energy steps. First I hold by sit bones and then I hold the inside of my knees.

So, folks, learn from the baseball players! No matter what you’re choosing to do for your spring and summer activities, help YOUR body discover alignment and easy movement AND help it be in breath. Prepare your body for what you’re going to ask it to do.  At least one time a day I do the Daily Clean Your House Flow. Off and on throughout the day, you might see me do the first step of the Daily Flow – holding my upper arms by folding my arms across the chest.  THAT opens up breath.  And when I’m in the garden, I’m doing the third and fourth steps — sitting on my left hand with my right hand on the left shoulder and then switching. THAT is helping my body be ready for the lifting and digging and weeding and planting.

Have fun with all you do in your world!

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