The old toe touch

In these giddy days of major change, it’s instructive to compare our general outlook with that of folks 50 years ago or so.  Noting the stories of African-Americans who in the 60s never imagined we’d change so much as to vote in a black president, I’m proud of our ability to progress, and I’m also reminded of how our maturation has resulted in a different approach to life.  So much has changed all around us, and our inner changes have quietly tagged along; now we’re products of the new technological world, citizens of the globe. 

Life used to be simpler, no doubt.  And it used to be perhaps more approachable.  The options at hand are so extensive now as to utterly bewilder the individual.  And since we’ve neglected care of the soul in our mad rush to technical, financial, and political prowess, it’s easy to lose your way in life today, finding yourself washed up on the shore of disillusionment.

For this Monday morning, I have just one little suggestion for keeping in touch with your basic humanity, the flow of blood and breath, the source of being.  A primary way in which we differ from people 50 or 100 years ago is that we simply move less.  Our lives and work do not require much physicality, and it’s common for people to do no more in a day than sit, stand, and walk short distances.

My suggestion is to adopt a habit of inverting your spine every day.  This does not require twisted yoga postures.  It’s just a matter of dropping down, as if to touch your toes, and letting your blood reverse course for a few seconds.  If bending is not possible for you, just letting your head drop, chin on chest, is a great beginning.  

There’s a specifically correct way to do this, but I’ll skip the details for now in favor of promoting the concept as a whole.  The more you do it, the easier it will be.  Try it once, mindfully, breathing regularly as you do it, and you’ll be amazed at the refreshment you feel.

Little practices like this can make all the difference to your attitude, courage, generosity, and energy.  I fear for a society in which we’ve lost touch with physical vitality.  Letting your body do its part in unfolding your path will brighten your awareness and bolster your hopes as you spin around the dance floor with this crazy world.


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