Recently, I have been exploring the cultivation of grace through the balance between oppositional extension/stabilization and internal integration. Of further fascination, is how that practice gives way to maintaining awareness of our internal world while engaging with the external world. I like to call that practical mindfulness.
By working with props that are less stable than the floor we are forced to strengthen both internal integration and external control. Thus, instability increases the necessity for awareness.
We build our proprioception, or sense of self-movement and body position, as externally moving awareness is strengthened. By taking ourselves out of homeostasis, which is often reflected in being outside our comfort zone (mer mer mer), we are forced to adapt and grow.
At the same time, the instability of main points of groundedness call for an inward moving awareness as grown through the physically correlated, integration. In doing this, we cultivate interoception, or sense of the internal state of the body.
Here inlies what I perceive to be one of the greatest doorways into spiritual practice as approached through the physical practice. The practice the conscious engagement of both proprioception and interoception is a navigation of the external world while maintaining a sense of the body from the inside. The result is a practical mindfulness practice through the cultivating grace. I will define grace as awareness maintained from point A to point B and as harmoniously arising from simultaneous internal and external awareness. Maintaining awareness over time is meditation (dhyana). In dhyana we have a suspension of our engagement with the fixations, habits, and conditioning of the mind. For even just milliseconds we experience our true nature as outside our identification with thoughts and emotions. >>RELIEF<<< then terrifying -haha.
This is the power of moving meditation.
All of that is available without a stability ball of course, and without a yoga mat. It is available while we fold laundry, eat our food, or blink our eyes -- but I also enjoy suspending identifications through cultivating grace in handstands. It is what I envision tonic immobility to feel like when sharks are flipped over :)
Check out my upcoming workshops with stability balls!