This past Saturday's workshop, The Art of Self-Care for the Artisan, was a great reminder for us to breathe. No just breathe for survival, but intentionally breathing
That sounds weird, I know, "intentionally breathing." But belly breathing, as well as Sending Breath and Let Go, Let God breathing are all key component to relaxation, as well as other techniques.
And that's exactly what we learned during this workshop, techniques to keep us breathing, relaxed, and tension free!
We started our workshop by writing down our intentions. Fawn's intention for us was:
To teach easy and practical self care techniques to use daily or as needed, to keep your body and joints moving freely during your crafting sessions.
The Warm Up
I never really thought about warming up my hands. I'm a Taurean (May 19) and I completely fit the bullheaded trait. So when I start knitting, I simply plop down on the couch, pick up my project and knit away. . .for hours and hours on end, then wonder why my thumb hurts.
Duh. . .I didn't warm up my hands, wrists, fingers, spine, shoulders, neck, and mind!
But Fawn taught us the importance of warming up your wrists before working
Fist closed, fist open, fist closed...
And your fingers
And stretching your neck, back and forth, and from side to side.
Stretches to Relieve Long Periods of Stillness
Stretching is also important, especially if you are like me, and sit for hours on end. Sometimes I won't even realize that I've been sitting for two hours until I try to stand up and my hips are stiff, my shoulders are sore and my back aches because I've been hunched over, pounding away on my keyboard!
Taking a 2 minute break, and stretch your hands over your head, makes such a difference in not only your body but your mind as well! It increases your blood flow, bringing nourishment to your muscles. Stretching also releases endorphins, which will help you attain a feeling of joy and serenity.
And a joyful knitter is a productive knitter!
Breathing for Relaxed Stitches
"Belly breathing helps to massage your digestive and reproductive organs within your system. It brings vitality and life to your body!"
Oh what a wonderful way to breathe. Yes, that's right, I made another weird statement about breathing but it really is a wonderful way to breathe. Belly Breathing doesn't mean you are literally breathing into your belly. It means you are taking deeper breaths, expanding your diaphragm, allowing more oxygen in. It also helps to stimulate your autonomic nervous system, triggering the relaxation response.
And a relaxed knitter is a productive knitter!
There was so much information Fawn presented during her workshop. Some of it was new to me, some of it I already knew. It's amazing, though, that I had completely forgotten to practice these techniques.
Breathing to keep you relaxed while knitting, stretching to keep your fingers and wrists loose, acupressure to help ease away any tension, these are all very important tips and tricks, not just while knitting, or beading, or even creating chain mail!
They are important techniques to help all of us ease our way through our daily lives!