The concept of freedom is important to anyone looking to transcend city chaos. I remember that heavy feeling of being trapped — it’s common for city dwellers to feel this way but the truth is: we are free. Whether it be in thought, feeling or movement, we are free. It is this freedom that allows us to choose how to feel — we can feel trapped, we can feel free, we can feel annoyed, we can feel at peace. Yes, there are steps to get from one state of mind to another but there is always the freedom to do so.
Here’s a nice exercise taken from the Alexander Technique with adaptations from Jennifer Roig-Francolí. It’s known as Constructive Rest:
- Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and head propped up slightly on a book (a firm surface is required to relax into).
- Think about what you’d like to get out of this rest.
- Relax into the ground — feel the gravity pulling your relaxed weight down into the Earth’s surface.
- Allow thoughts and feelings to come and go freely. Try to make the distinction between feeling care-free and being free to think and feel whatever you choose.
- Make some declaration about your freedom such as “I am free”. I find it relaxing to address each part of my body, “My neck is free, my shoulders are free, my back is free, my forearms are free…”.
- Keep on letting go.
Just 15 minutes of this practise per day will make a big difference to your happiness and posture — you can even start with 5 minutes if you like.
Your life in the city is truly free if you declare it.