bottoms up body to mind

Bottoms-Up: Body to Mind

I got a desk and it’s changed my life. Honestly.  

What could possibly be so exciting about a desk?

I have been without desk for many years now and finally found the right one on Craigslist and I feel like a different person. Sitting at my desk is an invitation to work comfortably in a space set aside for just that.

By work, I mean all kinds of things. Interact with my private online clients, write in my journal, manage my spreadsheet accounting. In recent years I’ve done these things sitting on the floor or slumped on the couch or at the dining room table. Sure, the dining room table is not unlike a desk. But there’s something about a real desk…with drawers! 

It makes me think about form…

The form my body takes when I sit at my desk, scoot my chair in, and open the drawer to grab my notebook. The sequence of movements, my upright (or let’s be honest, often slumped) perch. How it’s the prop of the desk that invites my body into this sequence and my body that invites my mind into focus and thus…work. Of course, this makes me think about yoga.  

Furniture-Body-Brain Connection

First of all, I purposely leave my yoga props out and visible, because they tantalize me to use them. Just seeing my mat out on the floor or my blocks tipped over in the corner makes me want to do a downward dog or a supta baddha konasana. Like my desk, the clutter of yoga stuff around me makes subtle suggestions about how I might be spending my time.  

So I’ve got my desk or my yoga props suggesting to my body it move into some particular form, and if I follow the siren song and move my body into those forms, something else follows with my mind. What a trip! It’s a real bottoms-up pathway. It’s not my mind going “do yoga/get to work, you asshole.” It’s my body going “oh, furniture, I want to use it.”  

Overthinking and thinking and thinking

I personally have a problem with overthinking, and if I get to overthinking I’m often also undermoving. That is, I ruminate with my body in some form or another and I melt deeper into that shape or pattern of nervous pacing while my mind goes on and on trying to figure out literally everything about the thing I’m worried about.

When I’ve had the will to disrupt the overthinking, the process is usually associated with changing the form my body is in. Take your head out of your hands, Quinn. Get up, get your journal, and write this stuff down. Get up, get outside, and go for a walk. Get up, get down again, and put your legs up the wall. Clean the house. Do something with your body, change your shape, see what follows.  

Change your form, change your mind

I’d love to be able to tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that certain yoga poses help you figure out your meaning in life or solve world hunger or annihilate depression. I suppose I can tell you what I’ve been told, or what seems to work for me, or make it symbolic and dripping with suggestion (suggestion is powerful stuff, after all).

There’s some truth to saying that standing poses are helpful with grounding. There’s been legitimate scientific research that shows holding certain physical postures enhance feelings of power and confidence. Regardless whether or not doing child’s pose is a reliable prescription for calming anxiety, I can tell you that putting your body in different forms is a great way of influencing the forms your mind takes next.

For me, changing up the shape of my body is often preferable to trying to talk myself out of my present thought process. Then I’m just arguing with myself on top of overthinking. I’d much rather do a triangle pose or five deep squats and see where that takes me.  

Sending you my love, ironically from writing this post….at my dining room table! hehehe