I’ve been a yogi for a long time, and also at various times, I’ve danced, biked, swum, kayaked, walked, hiked, worked with a trainer in a fitness studio, done tai chi and/or qi gong, Pilates… I’m sure there are some activities I’ve forgotten at the moment.
I love it when my body moves well, when I have full range of motion in all my joints and can move with fluidity and enough energy and strength to do these activities and get through my days with a minimum of discomfort.
I practiced the MELT Method at home, subscribing to MELT On Demand, for a while a few years ago. It gave me online access to hundreds of videos focusing on rehydrating my body parts using soft foam rollers and balls and stretchy bands.
Hydration. Rehydration. We are squishy beings. Infants are about 70 percent water, but it declines with age, to maybe 55 percent in the senior years, which is where I am now.
In other words, we kinda dry up with age, and this shows up as stiffness.
You know what? It is not inevitable! And it takes more than just consuming enough fluid.
You want those fluids to get into your soft tissues, into your muscles and fascia, bones and joints, tendons and ligaments.
You know how good you feel after you’ve received a full body massage? Well, the secret to that good feeling is the massage therapist gliding their hands with light or firm pressure on your skin. It redistributes your fluids, which relieves stiffness, aches, and pains.
The MELT Method is hands-OFF bodywork you can do by yourself, at home, with MELT equipment and videos. Sue Hitzmann, bodyworker and self-described gym rat, developed the MELT Method and continues to add to it.
Don’t underestimate Sue because she is in great shape, attractive, perky, and wears fashionable workout wear. She’s also disciplined and brainy. She has a master’s degree in exercise science from NYU. She’s participated in dissections of cadavers to learn more about fascia and belongs to the international Fascia Research Society. She’s worked with some big names in the field of fascia research: Tom Myers, Gil Hedley, Robert Scheip, Jean-Claude Guimberteau.
She is a somatic educator, bringing information and practices you can use to enhance your experience of well-being.
I stopped doing MELT for a while but just re-upped my subscription to MELT On Demand because I was feeling too stiff.
If this interests you, @MELTmethod is a YouTube channel with free material on MELT, no subscription needed.
As someone who sits still for long periods in my work as a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, I can’t recommend this enough. My work is oriented to fluids and energy in the body. I help my clients experience more ease in their bodies. If I could receive a session every day, I would!
I started a training course in the fall of 2021 that involves making 10 trips to Washington, DC, from Austin, TX. The training was actually in Silver Spring, a suburb.
I was very enthused about working with this teacher! And…I didn’t think much about all the travel, not ever having had to do much business travel back in those olden days.
The first trip was adventurous! I took the Metro and visited museums on the Mall on an extra day. I stayed in a crappy AirBnB that was close to the training so I could walk.
The second trip I stayed in a nice rowhouse in Columbia Heights and took the Metro to class each day. I visited the Phillips Collection, a good art museum, on my extra day.
On the third trip, I stayed in an AirBnB in Silver Spring where the owner (who did not live there) had gone crazy with a label maker.
Oh, yes, you could find “BOWELS” on a shelf in a kitchen cabinet.
I took the Metro to the Mall and walked to the Lincoln Memorial when the cherry trees were first starting to bloom. It was cold and windy, and I wore myself out, but I’m glad I did it.
On my fourth trip, I burned out. I’d been in a high speed car accident a couple of months before, and I’m convinced that even though I wasn’t seriously injured, going from 65 mph to 0 quickly and getting “spine-lash” is not something the human body is designed to bounce back from. It’s taken PT for my body and many months off body/energy work and breathwork and meditation for my nervous system to recover. I’m still taking Cortisol Manager. It’s been almost a year.
And there’s more… I’d planned to arrive a day early, but my one-stop flight ended in Oklahoma City because of bad weather in DC, and I unexpectedly had to book a hotel room and then be at the airport at 4 am to get a three-stop flight to DC. I was in six airports in two days on next to no sleep. I was tired when I got to DC, and things didn’t improve much.
I had signed up for a 3-day training right before my regular 4-day class. I learned that 7 days in a row in a classroom doesn’t work well for me. I love learning, but I need time to rest, to move, to sleep well, and to integrate.
And more… The Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade happened the first day of class. I read articles that night about the white supremacist, anti-LGBTQ intent of the new conservative majority, which felt threatening to my beautiful rainbow family’s integrity, and it was happening right there in DC.
And still more… The AirBnB I stayed in seemed haunted, in hindsight. The location was good, but day by day, I felt lonelier and more depleted, and I simply did not want to be there. I couldn’t tell if “there” was in that AirBnB, in the training, in DC, or on the planet. I felt empathy with Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. He probably just wanted out.
Being not suicidal, I later wondered whether in my depleted state, I was picking up energies from a previous occupant of that basement apartment who’d been depressed and suicidal.
I went home earlier than I’d planned, drained.
Business travel is not like going to Maui. I thought about dropping out. I stayed home and did the fifth class on video.
Given time, I recovered and went back to DC for the sixth training, staying in a hostel in Adams-Morgan, which I liked better than most of the AirBnBs, again taking the Metro to and from class. I got a couple of nice walks in every day getting to and from the DuPont Circle station.
I enjoyed the hostel. It has dorm rooms with privacy curtains around each bunk and a shared bathroom. Sometimes there’s a happy hour with games. The staff and guests are young, vibrant people who come from many places. The staff knows the neighborhood well and are very friendly and helpful.
There’s a free washer and dryer with detergent and dryer sheets, as well as a big, fully equipped kitchen to cook in.
I also treated myself to a floatation tank session one evening during this sixth trip. It was a great reset.
I was curious about other introverts traveling for business, and fortuitously, the wife of a member of my spiritual book group, Laura, sat next to me at our annual December potluck dinner. I knew Laura was an introvert who had to do a lot of business travel for her consulting job, and I asked her for tips for introverts doing business travel.
Here’s what she kindly shared with me:
The key is to reduce stress by making everything as close to your home routines as possible.
Think about when you are ready to face the world each day, and schedule your departure to the airport for after that time.
Book flights far enough in advance to get desirable nonstop mid-day flights (or at least less time in transit) and make the whole day a travel day. It’s way less stressful.
She advised packing everything into one carry-on and one personal item to avoid waiting at baggage claim. She re-wears or washes clothes.
I haven’t done this yet, but it’s appealing. My big bag that I’ve been checking is heavy for someone not quite five feet tall, and baggage claim can be very slow and crowded, not to mention managing the big bag on the Metro.
She recommended staying at the same place. For her, it’s always the same hotel chain, because the layout and rooms are similar no matter where they’re located.
I’m traveling and training on my own dime and can’t afford hotels. Don’t really like them anyway…so impersonal and corporate and don’t feel very fresh.
If I can’t find an affordable nice AirBnB near the training on my remaining trips, the hostel is my next best choice.
Laura advised ordering food delivered from Whole Foods and eating what I’d eat at home.
That works for me. Having a kitchen to cook in is a big plus. I cook for myself most of the time at home, knowing the ingredients are healthy and my food is made with love.
Not to mention, dining out has gotten expensive.
Laura advised setting toiletries out in the bathroom the same way you do at home, and putting clothes in drawers and the closet the same way you would at home.
If your meeting starts on Monday, and you fly in on Saturday, spend Sunday relaxing and reading a good book.
Laura also advised not joining extroverted colleagues in evening activities after workday meetings. Since we introverts recharge our batteries in solitude, make sure you get enough alone time to fully recharge after a day of being in meetings or training with others. It’s also good to reconnect with loved ones back home every evening on the phone.
I got lucky for my seventh class and found an AirBnB on the same block as my training. I could walk to Whole Foods to get groceries, cook for myself, and walk to class with ease. I brought matcha, frother, and add-ins from home.
It was a spare bedroom in a high-rise apartment complex. I saw some gorgeous sunsets from there and a cherry tree in full bloom on my block. My host was someone nice to chat with a few times, and I had privacy. I felt safe and comfortable, staying with her.
I only used Uber to get to and from the airport and never used the Metro this trip. That helped reduce wear and tear quite a bit.
I’m probably not as introverted as she is, because I joined a few of my classmates on Friday night at an ecstatic dance in DC. Since it’s nonverbal movement, it didn’t drain me. It gave me some satisfaction to move exuberantly after so much sitting all week. I blew off a lot of steam.
I slept well that night and returned to Austin the next day. This was the easiest trip so far.
Only three more to go.
What would you add, if you’re an introvert who travels for work or training?
Just back from 4 days in Big Bend National Park, with the big sky, desert, mountains, river, hot springs, ravens, Mexican jays, javelinas, and numerous trails.
And most of all, quality time spent with my beloved 22-year-old granddaughter, Hannah.
And…it’s great to be back home, in my own bed, with comfort, solitude, and time to sit.
After over 3 months of daily meditations, when I start sitting, things start happening…perceptions of radiance at my face, the motions of the Tide, the vitality of my life force swirling within.
I remember when I started doing yoga (asanas) 40 years ago. At some point after my practice became habit, I realized I didn’t just DO yoga, I WAS (and still AM) yoga. It was in me.
Same now. I AM the radiance, the Tide, the swirliness, the health. It’s in me, and it’s in you too, and I can help you find it, if that is your desire.
So…I will continue my practice but won’t be posting so much about it. I will be reviewing my posts (I started on 11/11/22), exploring ways of teaching it, as one-to-one private sessions now, and later as a guided meditation/yoga nidra, for small groups, and whatever else emerges.
Thank you for checking out my posts on this inquiry. Please stay in touch! Links are in my Instagram bio.
Many of us, myself included, have a bias toward noticing what’s wrong, what hurts, is tense, stiff, sluggish, numb, dysfunctional.
We may even make up stories about what’s wrong, feeling ourselves deficient, flawed, less than, unworthy.
I’m motivated to get over that!
You know, if you’re not on life support in a hospital, there’s a lot that’s going right.
Your heart is beating.
You’re viewing this post and reading these words.
You very likely are hearing sounds, if you direct your attention there.
The many sensations of body awareness…
Your weight pressing down into whatever you’re sitting or standing or leaning on.
The sense of where you are in space, how your body is arranged, your posture.
Warmth or coolness.
Your many systems that keep you organized and alive: cardiovascular, pulmonary, nervous, lymphatic, digestive, immune, etc.
Also, your mind. Your memories and imaginations, beliefs, motivations, identity, skills, preferences and avoidances, etc.
Underlying all is your life force. Yogis call it prana. Daoists call it qi (chi, ki).
I feel it when I do Biodynamic Meditation, doing yoga or qi gong, walking in nature, having a great conversation with someone, hugging a friend, practicing Craniosacral Biodynamics, and just at random times.
I feel grateful for being alive.
That’s what this is all about. This comes even before sensing the Tide in the central energy channel.
Wow! Today’s Biodynamic Meditation was mostly swirliness!
I had again awakened early and listened to a Yoga Nidra recording on YouTube. I’ve been sampling them. Still like Liam Gillen and also now Kristyn Rose Yoga who has one with some focus on the heart chakra.
I also gave 5 mini-sessions at last night’s Community Healing Circle after being unable to work this past week. Power outage at my office due to ice storm. (It’s back on now.)
I was primed for a really good meditation.
I breathed a few physiological sighs until I yawned (parasympathetic sign).
Felt radiance at my face and then my entire head.
No stillpoint unless it was brief.
I wonder if the healing energy, after 3 months of daily meditations, doesn’t need stillpoints any more because it knows my system well by now.
When I work on others, a stillpoint seems like a pause when the healing energy is assessing their system and gathering resources before it starts swirling.
Swirliness happens when the healing energy of the Tide changes its action from regulation (ascending and descending the central energy channel) or stillpoints (gathering resources) to healing whatever is ready to be healed (swirling where it’s needed), as best I understand it experientially.
Swirliness is so mysterious and magical! It has its own agenda for healing that is extremely intelligent!
I believe it’s way more intelligent than any of us could possibly be. After all, it has known us deeply and intimately, from the inside out, since shortly after our conception.
Sometimes it moves really fast, zipping around. Sometimes it slows down and lingers in an area.
Today it touched on all my chakras and did some more realigning of my cranial bones.
Usually it feels really good! Sometimes, like today with my frontal bone, there was a brief, slight sense of discomfort until the bone was aligned with its neighbors.
Photo: wave receding from lava tube, with whispering stones, at Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana, Maui.
Yesterday I wrote about finding a place in my abdomen that felt cool in my Biodynamic Meditation. It condensed into a round shape maybe 2 inches in diameter.
It felt like old, stagnant, stuck fear, an iciness from who-knows-which young experience, maybe several.
I wondered if this was a place in my system that the healing energy would return to, helping it heal.
In today’s meditation, I felt radiance at my face, Tide, and healing energy slowly moving in my abdomen.
I felt the condensed energy again. It wasn’t as cold as it was yesterday. The healing energy stayed there for a while, like it was settling in with its attention.
Healing always happens in the present, no matter when the energy became stuck.
Healing cannot be forced. It happens when it’s ready to happen.
We can help it be ready, with our awareness and by simply allowing it to be as it is, with kindness and patience.
Some of our stuck energies have been with us for a long, long time, protecting the rest of our systems from chaos. They serve us until they are no longer needed.
Photo: Copied from somewhere online, honoring our tree brothers and sisters so many of whom were reshaped by the recent ice storm in Austin. The branches that remain intact will fill in the empty spaces and grow.
I dreamed I was dancing, able to leap high enough to touch the branches of trees, and to descend to the earth safely, only to do it again and again and again, higher, higher, almost floating back down, with buoyancy.
So… We were talking about the Tide, about sensing the Tide ascending and descending in your central energy channel.
How to be still and bring your awareness to that channel, the channel that is home to and connects your chakras.
The cranial pole of the channel (crown, sahasrara chakra) opens upward, to heaven, the cosmos, the universe, spirit.
That upward direction is called levity.
The sacral pole of the channel (root or muladhara chakra) opens to the earth.
That direction is called gravity.
Gravity and levity. Grounded and open to Spirit: balance.
My dream was about levity.
Who needs a dream like this?
Someone who is growing a private practice in Craniosacral Biodynamics, exploring Biodynamic Meditation with you :-), teaching, making 5 trips this year for training and personal growth, who is now also looking at a new location after 12 years in the same place.
Lots going on. Balance needed.
Today’s Biodynamic Meditation was about breathing, posture, sensing Tide. I invited a cranial stillpoint. Ajna chakra, radiance at my face, crown chakra. Swirliness in my cranium, then in my abdomen at manipura chakra, then in pelvis, ending with sacral stillpoint.