A little more light and warmth invites us to spend a little more time outside, just enough to see the sparkling dew and feel the increasing luminosity of life renewed. The promise of spring. Just as the Greek Water Nymphs, or the Roman Lymphae, dance and play as guardians of fresh water, we are invited to move in a more fluid way. With a little more movement we melt, open, reach out from underneath our winter layers, just as the spring bulbs reach out from beneath the layers of the soil. In spring our animal bodies begin to cleanse and lighten as our lymph is stirred to release the old. The great return of the warmth of the sun and its longer presence during the day inspires us to move and flow, awakening our sense of hope and our experience of luminosity. A promise of renewal.
Cleansing, releasing and shedding is a natural happening in spring. The lymphatic system is less emphasized in this process and yet it is an essential function of cellular regeneration. Lymphatic fluid flows from the periphery, our limbs, upward and central toward the thoracic duct near the heart. The interstitial fluid that baths our cells is cleansed by a pressure gradient. Lymphatic vessels have unidirectional valves and smooth muscles that pump rhythmically. Venous pressure and skeletal muscle pressure support this and that is why movement is key for lymphatic cleansing. A backflow caused by sedentary living, inflammation and stress can put pressure on lymph nodes resulting in congestion and fluid retention. When lymph nodes become congested they cannot carry out their essential function as part of the immune system, sampling the fluid for micro-organisms and stimulating an immune response, should there need to be one. The key ways to support lymphatic cleansing are reducing inflammation, reducing stress and stimulating flow.
Beyond our own physical body and sense of individual self, in springtime we are called to go outside, look around and see who else is emerging from winter hibernation. Relationships and communication go hand in hand, whether verbal or non-verbal. When we reach out to others and choose to be in relationship, we have the opportunity to develop our communication fluency. Fluency and fluidity are the foundations of relating, and relating is the foundation of a healthy functioning community. Just as healthy cells bathe in flowing fluid, the space between us must be clear in order for things to flow. Becoming more fluent and clear in the way we both listen and respond is a dance. What makes someone a good dancer? Fluidity. A fluid body creates greater precision in movement and expression. And when we are relating to others we are required to remain fluid. Not so loose that we dissolve and yet not so rigid that we break. We are innately fluid beings, we came from the ocean and although that is no longer our habitat we now live in the fluid atmosphere of air. Air is fluid, it moves like rivers between us and through us as our breath that we share.
The following are a few journaling prompts, thought experiments and practises for you to play with as we flow into spring…
- Imagine how you would move if you were immersed in liquid honey? Try it now, every step, every action, slow and fluid, full and expressive, sweet and sublime.
- Lie on the ground with your feet up a wall, in Viparita Karani or Waterfall pose. That’s it. Rest here and just allow gravity to do its good work for your lymphatic system.
- Imagine how you would enter a room if the atmosphere surrounding you felt neither empty nor inert but full of effervescent potential? How would you feel?
- Every morning for a week spend 5 minutes writing free-flow to detox the mental chatter backlog and support your emotional cleansing.
- Imagine how you would feel if your hard edges softened like an icicle melting in the golden light of the morning sun? How does that thought make your body feel?
- Once a week dance for 20 minutes to your favourite playlist. Move and flow, shake and vibrate, stomp and bang until you feel light and free.
Follow the link to our latest Liquid Light meditation.