Centering yourself is the most important part of creating a peaceful energy where your clients can relax and feel at ease. Centering brings awareness and mindfulness to the session. Centering is a process that is reflected and shared when you live a life in balance-–personally and professionally. It involves breathing, caring, grounding, focus, awareness and mindfulness. When you are centered, you can dwell totally in the present moment, releasing all thoughts and concerns about the past as well as releasing projections into the future.
Here are some simple exercises you can do anywhere at anytime to help center yourself.
1. Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground. Close your eyes, and breathe slowly in your nose and out your mouth. Begin with your face, clenching your facial muscles for 5 seconds and then releasing them for 20 seconds. Continue down with your shoulders, arms, hands, stomach, thighs, buttocks, legs and feet, tightening the entire body and then releasing with an exhale. This act of tightening and releasing will relieve tension in muscles you may not have realized were tense.
2. Sit in a comfortable position and inhale slowly through your nose for 4 seconds. Then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds, letting go of your tension and relaxing your chest, shoulders and stomach as you exhale. Hang out in the bottom of your breath. Repeat this process for a few minutes and you will feel your body relax.
3. Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and hands on your legs. Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Pay attention to your breathing, the way your lungs and chest feel as they fill with air. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the back of the chair supporting you, the seat underneath you supporting you. Relax your shoulders, but do not slump. Keep your head up with your chin slightly lowered, a comfortable, relaxed, but awake and aware position. As thoughts come in to your mind, acknowledge them and let them go; don’t try to solve any problems or follow your thoughts, but just let them come in and go out. Let your mind come back to focusing on your breathing, without altering the pace or length of your breaths. Rest in the silence and release your worries and concerns at least for this moment. Enjoy the peace and stillness of right now.
Ariana Vincent, L.M.T., M.T.I., N.C.T.M.B., is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and workshop leader based in Austin, Texas. Learn more about her at www.arianavincent.com.