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Lesson 2, Chapter 12


Nicole
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Q. Complete the body practices starting on pg. 173, at the end of Chapter 12. Reflect on your experience with the practice. 

This topic was modified 11 months ago by Nicole

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David Westlake
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This was an interesting little exercises. What came to mind is how simple they are. Both of them offer nice little tools when things start to inwardly escalate.  The second one seemed to feel more natural for me. It has this way about it that I liked especially using the body as my checkpoint and ground. Also I appreciate the self study aspect of this little exercise helping me become more familiar with my body and using it as a friend to inform me of where I am at during a reaction. 


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Shawn
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These practices came at a perfect time since I have been dealing with an issue with my partner the past couple of days that is creating conflict, giving me an opportunity to try them out. The practices (including the 5 anchors) are very similar to something I learned in my 500 hr YTT called The Work -- self-observation by holding attention on bodily sensation, without judgment, without changing anything, with ruthless self-honesty and in a relaxed body. What is different is the added step of 'rolling' with whatever happens next in the body (as long as it does not harm you or someone else). It has taken a lot of practice to sit in the discomfort and train myself to move through clean pain and not engage with dirty pain. I am able to notice when I am headed for a fight, flee or freeze response when I become constricted or I feel a welling up in my belly and my nervous system gets highly activated. For me, my body usually responds well by slowing the breath while engaging heart focused breathing to soothe myself and tap into what I'm experiencing. To discharge any remaining energy, I usually will shake it off by standing up and shaking my body almost like dancing, brushing my body with my hands and tapping as well as Lion's Breath and humming. If I can remember to come back to these practices in a triggering situation, I'm much more able to respond to the situation in love. 


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Joanna
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I really appreciate the 5 anchors. As an athlete I have become adept at the process of staying with the physical discomfort that comes with long hours of running or being on the bike. I notice the sensations, acknowledge them, and know that they will pass - I call these the "tough patches." I feel a sense of relief when I get to the other side, although that does not always happen. This is harder for me emotionally of course - when my mother passed four years ago, I spent the first six months in a state of blurriness, with a lack of purpose and direction. At times the sadness was overwhelming but I knew I had to stay in that place to feel it, to understand, knowing it was ok to be there. Each time emotions arose I had to remind myself to stay present, that the only way to be able to enjoy the memories was to feel the pain. I felt lucky that I had such a wonderful loving life with my mother and that helped me to understand the loss. Going through this experience and using Menakem's body practices provides me with the anchors I need to stay grounded and present and release the dirty pain. Stop drop and roll is great reminder for the heat-of-the-moment situations.


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Nicole
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@shawn-chereskin @joannathurmancomcast-net

Thank you for sharing your experiences with these practices. Another reminder of the need to do our own work, so that we may respond to ourselves and others from a compassionate place. 


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Caroline
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I appreciated the direction this exercise provides.  I am aware of these practices and sometimes go into situations where a challenging conversation needs to take place and I "lose" the capacity to be present.  I hope to utilize this exercise in future situations to respond from authentic self (clean pain) rather than a wounded part (dirty pain).


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Laura
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I really appreciated the way he framed these as the five anchors. I have practiced Buddhist meditation and understand sitting with discomfort, watching thoughts, feelings arise and dissipate. But the step by step to help settle and dispel the energy was really useful!


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Marjorie
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They are interesting and simple exercices improving the capacity to observe ourselves. From my point of viex, that exercices are exercices based on the mindfulness/meditation. In that excercices, the autor encourage us to be aware of our reactions, recognize symptoms of negative feelings then take the decision to change our reactions. The autr encourage us to do introspection, to know ourselves, in order to change what we need to change to have better reactions.

 

From my point of viex, they are good exercice to explain to student of yoga or meditation, in order to support them to develop the capacity to be aware of  oour feelings, and change.


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Kristin
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I am someone who can easily disassociate from my own body. I am actually doing my own work around this, and my acupuncturist keeps telling me how I need to breathe and be present with my breath. I appreciate these exercises and the practice of yoga as a means of healing. I know first hand how tremendously valuable it is.


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Sarah
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Q. Complete the body practices starting on pg. 173, at the end of Chapter 12. Reflect on your experience with the practice. 

I love the way Menakem describes this practice. I call it "creating space between the feeling, the physical reaction, and the behavior". I think this practice is one of the most important after really bringing attention and awareness to the physical body. Once we can see the signs, we can start to practice separating. I experienced something that was honestly an opportunity to practice this. My great-great-aunt died as my 200-hour teacher training was ending. She was the closest thing I had to a grandmother, and one of the reasons I'm as strong as I am to this day. She was dying, and I was on her front lawn waiting to see if the paramedics could do anything. I had to reconcile the "wanting her to live", "Wanting her to rest in peace finally", the heartbreak, the sorrow, and I was overwhelmed. I squatted, when into Malasana, with prayer hands, and breathed for peace. Whatever that meant in that moment. I just knew that I had to separate from the visceral while still trying to cope and be cognizant. 


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