Author: Sandra Dupuis

Méditation guidée - la vie en nous

Meditation: the aliveness within

I had the plan to continue exploring eyes and vision with you this month but another subject suddenly appeared more relevant: exploring the aliveness within us

With spring and Easter (the celebration of life), the time of the year is particularly conducive to observing this aliveness outside of us so why not inside?

Becoming aware of this aliveness within us means reconnecting to a force present within each of us in any circumstances. It is relatively easy to feel disconnected from it. Stress, screen time, anxiety are some of the reasons of this feeling of disconnection.

We might feel disconnected for a while, yes but this aliveness is always there, as long as we are alive. We simply don’t feel for a while.

The astounding beauty of spring reminds reconnects us to this aliveness. You might then wonder why we would need to explore aliveness within us?

Well…have you ever felt more joyful, calmer, in a good mood or less anxious when the sun starts to shine, the bird to sing and the flowers to bloom?

Could exploring the aliveness within us bring a little bit more joyful, a little bit calmer, a little good humored, a little bit less anxious whatever the outside circumstances? And maybe much more than that?

That will be for you to explore with this month’s practice 🙂

Warmly,
Sandra

P.S Next month’s practice will build on this one. If you enjoy it, practice it often, ideally every morning, till the next video

Muscles sous-occipitaux

Let’s continue to explore our tensions!

Last month I was sharing how keeping chronic tension and contraction in our bodies could deplete our energy. We started to explore the jaw, one of the key zones where tensions can accumulate.

Let’s continue our exploration with another key zone: the suboccipitals.

Behind the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw lie 8 small deep muscles which connect our skull (more precisely with the occipital bone thus their name suboccipitals) and the spine with the first two cervicals, the atlas and the axis. In total, they are 4 pairs of muscles: rectus capitis posterior minor, rectus capitis posterior major, obliquus capitis superior, obliquus capitis inferior.

These muscles are really special: their primary role is not locomotor. Very rich in sensorial receptors, they inform our brain of the position of our head in space and participate in the balance and posture of the entire body. This deep muscular cervical system is directly linked to the spinal cord (though the dura mater) and functions in synergy with the eyes and the inner ear.

This important crossroad is often a storage center for a great deal of the head and neck tension that so many people feel. Furthermore, many studies show a link between tension in the upper cervical spine and headache, neck or jaw tensions. For example, a study from Hu (1995) has shown that, by improving the tonus of the recti capiti posterior minor the blood blow in the dura mater is normalized and hence the tonus in the jaw and neck is also normalized (normalizing the tonus means that the muscle is not too tense nor too relaxed).

The overstimulation of our eyes is a primary source of tension for the suboccipitals. The increasing use of screens is of course part of the story… but not only. I will come back to this in a future newsletter! If the eyes can contract the suboccipital zone, they can also relax it 🙂

Let’s explore this in this month’s practice!

Enjoy!

Warmly,

Sandra

(C) The image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan license.

Difficulties to start 2021?

Hello everybody ! Happy New Year!

The start of 2021 has made me ask myself how to deal with low levels of energy.

A certain slowness, inertia and sluggishness have indeed characterized the beginning of the year.

Every period has its own dynamics. There might also be a lot from 2020 that still needs digestion; however the year has been experienced.

When the energy starts to be missing, challenges are manifold:

We are more likely to revert to old habits and tendencies (body, mind, emotions,..)
Even if we know what we could/should do, it may be really hard to put it in practice (this is often true but even more when energy levels are low)
The addition of the two first points may create a negative feedback loop leading to a not-so-positive spiral
Does this sound familiar? If your answer is YES, you may be asking yourself how to deal with this situation?

First, sit down. Become aware of your feet and pelvis. Feel your breathing.

Second, remember: even if experiencing more difficult moments is a normal part of life, it does not make it less difficult. Be gentle with yourself, tolerant, generous. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt.

The benefit of the doubt?

Yes, I invite you to doubt the idea that you are regressing, the guilt, the idea that the main problem is YOU.

When well-known challenges reappear, it might actually be the opportunity to experiment them differently. Any small change in how you live and respond to these challenges counts. For this, it is useful to regain some energy!

Resistance, contraction and repulsion are usual responses to challenges. In the body, it is often expressed through tensions and contractions in key zones, like the jaw. The body is consuming crazy amounts of energy to keep these tensions and contractions going, to keep the resistance going (without us being aware of it most of the time!).

What is important to remember is that, by reducing significant energy consumption, you are gaining energy back. This month’s practice will help you experiment it 🙂

Does it help you? Let me know.
Your feedbacks are precious to me.

Warmly,

Sandra

Welcome to my universe!

EMBODYWORK was born 5 years ago during a wintery night, in a small chalet, next to the fireplace. Its logo and website were created in just one night.

Years have gone by and my work and universe have deepened. Last year, it became clear that a new logo and website were needed in order to express this change.

This time, one night was not enough.

For more than a year, this logo and website have been developed, questioned and built, together with professionals in order to reveal my own identity. A big thank you to René Zurcher, Samuel Monnard and Sabrina Righetti who have made this possible.

A big thank you, also, to all my current and former patients for their trust.

A warm welcome to my universe,

Sandra

Fini la procrastination

Working with resistance rather than against it

This week, I want to talk about resistance. This force that refuses, rejects and opposes.

We could make a parallel between this resistance and electrical resistance: the property of a conductor, which opposes the flow of an electric current resulting in the generation of heat in the conducting material. This resistance can go from 0 (supraconductors) to +∞ (perfect insulators). It can move through us without impact or it can overwhelm and drain us. When it is higher than 0, resistance starts making us loose energy.

We can resist what is happening and we can also resist our own resistance.

Resistance fatally brings suffering. Buddhists call it dukkha. It can be found both in our mind and in our body. To address it, we can enter by the body door or the mind door.
For the last two month, my yoga practice had been specifically concerned with reducing this resistance in my body. I will share more about that in future newsletters.

And a miracle happened:

I had decided to take time to write texts for my next website. Writing is probably one of the activities that produces the most resistance in me. By resistance, I mean that I resist it, I feel like procreating and this generally creates a lot of tensions. It is almost as if I was becoming a donkey (lol!). As I had deadlines to respect, procrastination was not an option. And the miracle happened: I found a way to work with the resistance rather than against. I was able to start working with a certain pleasure rather than by forcing myself. How much energy saved! How much satisfaction earned! How much suffering avoided!

In this week’s video, I’ll share about this experience.

And you, what do you resist and how do you react?

Take care,
Sandra

P.S: From 2021, videos will be both in French and in English. The 2020 videos are only available in French.

Chantal

For ten months, I’d been suffering from neck and shoulder problems as well as epicondylitis, and my various visits to the osteopath and physiotherapist had not brought about any lasting solution. As the sessions progressed, the way I stood improved and the tensions caused by the bad postural habits I had developed were significantly reduced.

Yanick

I had a lot of back pain and I was looking for a solution to improve my daily life. I felt the effects quickly along with a noticeable transformation. Today, it’s been almost 7 months since I finished the sessions. My daily life has improved a great deal.

Nathalie

Becoming more and more stooped, I was seeking help to improve my posture in a natural way. A very enriching experience working on movement and posture with a very competent and empathetic practitioner and a personalised approach. The results go beyond my expectations. I’m very satisfied.

Irène

Sandra treats me as an equal in the therapy, it’s both troubling and moving. It’s a collaboration, we work together (not like with an osteopath). I feel real compassion from Sandra. She heals a wound and helps me reconcile myself with an issue. I realise just how much the therapy isn’t only about posture, and that’s surely the most important thing.

Ariane

I highly recommend Sandra who does an excellent job, working with finesse. She is truly present, there with you. I appreciated her ability to put into words what she observed and her clear way of explaining her observations. This allowed me to become more aware and change some of my habits and postures. Thank you, Sandra. I wish you the very best for the future.

Sandrine

The advantage of the therapy is that it’s natural. You feel at ease with your body, you listen to it and modify what does not work using a gentle method.

Anne-Cécile

What I found in Sandra was someone who listened wholeheartedly to how I was feeling psychologically and physically. She showed great integrity and wonderful support.

Marie

I was able to understand where the back pain came from and find a lasting cure. I’m very satisfied with the treatment I received. It helped me feel good again.

Jannick

I had lumbago problems (back pain) and the results were very positive following the treatment. The pains have disappeared and it seems to me that consciously or subconsciously I have changed certain behaviours. Excellent contact with the therapist who clearly identified my problems and needs, which is very important to me.

Chantal

It was always a pleasure, after each session I felt relaxed and light. There were many problems that needed resolving and which required other care than Rolfing. All I can say is that it is one of the therapies I followed that helped me a lot physically and psychologically. The objective is to treat on a long-term basis. To bring about change, not just repair like other therapies. The therapist is the key asset. A good listener, friendly and very professional.

Anne-Cécile

Rolfing is a therapy which looks at the body in a holistic way, like an integrated whole. It offers the body another way of operating in which it can move beyond not-so-valuable habits.

Catherine

Have a reset following a bike accident. Deep work on the posture inducing chronic tensions. Adequate treatment time, desired efficiency, tensions gone.

Sophie

I felt a huge difference between the way I sang before and after the sessions. I am more anchored and therefore more liberated, both vocally and on stage. My body and mind are more connected. I already had a good awareness of my body, but Rolfing gave me the tools to take things further. It’s actually about gaining awareness. I think I’ll go back in a while and do some more sessions!

When the body gets confused

Too much information can created confusion as can too little information.

When the body does know where it is, what happens around it, it will react. Solidify. Tensions will appear.

A consequence of this solidification is that certain parts of the body will loose their independence: for example the pelvis and leg will move like a bloc. We could compare this fusion to the one a couple could experience. It could be an amazing experience for a while but, soon enough, both partners would suffer from having lost their own identity.

It is possible to relearn to each part of our body to find back its singularity while working with the others. It’s one of the basis of the work I offer in my practice.

Differentiation is not something we can decide mentally, we need to make a sensorial experience of it. This experience requires preconditions: find back a sense of support and weight, an orientation.

You are welcome to experience this with this week’s video.

Enjoy the practice!

Sandra

P.S: From 2021, videos will be both in French and in English. The 2020 videos are only available in French.

Gérer la surcharge d'informations

Overloaded with information?

We are almost continuously receiving massive amount of information.

Today’s information age could easily be compared with gargantuan feasts where we would repeatedly be invited and that we could not decline. The food would quickly become indigestible whether we feel it or not. By becoming indigestible, it could also become harmful to our body.

Information needs to be digested in the same way as food. Digested and integrated. This is only possible if enough time is given to our body for this process to take place. Unfortunately, most of the time, we have hardly started to digested the first part, that we already add a second and third.

What are the consequences ?
We could start feeling saturated, confused, stressed or tired to speak only of benign symptoms. With the pandemic, this tendency towards saturation is reinforced and mixed with an explosive cocktail of emotions.

So what to do?

  • As with the food, we could define certain time slots where we ingest information: for example, maximum 2-3 meals per day.
  • Start an intermittent fasting of information: 16 hours of pure digestion with additional inputs. If you listen to the news at 16h, you can start reading the next news the next morning at 8h.
  • Pamper your senses with a daily yogic purification practice. This is the topic of this week’s video. It is a powerful practice which allow the senses to find a place to rest and restore inside..

Enjoy the practice!
Sandra

P.S: From 2021, videos will be both in French and in English. The 2020 videos are only available in French.

Review, Embodiment & Astrology

Hello everybody,

After 2 months of newsletters and videos, the moment has arrived for a first review. What has been your experience for the last 2 months? What did you enjoy and what was less enjoyable?
Which subjects/topics would you like me to cover in future videos? Do you have any other wishes?
I am looking forward to receiving your feedbacks!

Please find below an embodiment practice to explore your nostrils. I suggest your practice this embodiment before receiving my next video.

During the confinement, I started to study in a serious and structured way a topic I had been passionate about for years: astrology. I am very likely to include some astrology in my next newsletters.

Till then, enjoy the practice!

Sandra

*********************

NOSTRILS EMBODIMENT

First take time to palpate your nose from the root till the nostrils using your index and middle finders.
Once on the nostrils, keep your finger there using a very light touch. Feel the movement created by natural breathing.

When the movement is distinct enough and your attention is focused, actively exhale from the lower abdomen (below the navel) in a slow and progressive fashion. With the exhale, your nostrils will move closer to the nasal septum. Allow the respiratory movement of the inhale to happen by itself.

You might experience some suspension in the breath. If they happen, let yourself feel the atmosphere they carry.
Little by little, allow both the inhale and the exhale to happen by themselves. Check for any contraction that might be present in the diaphragmatic area. If contraction are present, reduce the effort progressively till the movement happens fluidly.

When the movement of the nostrils as been felt for long enough, you can continue the practice without using your fingers.

To be practised 3 minutes per day!

Prendre soin de ses pieds

How to start feeling differently

Hello everybody,

The feet are much more than a foundation for our body.

They are sensory organs like our eyes and ears. The soles of our feet contain a lot of different receptors which gives us various information, for example our position in space (proprioception). The capacity of support is directly linked with this potential.

The feet I see in my practice are usually rather tight or flat. In both case, their capacity to sense is altered. So, how to get it back?

This week’s practice will show you a way to start restoring it.

When we work on the sensory organ, the impact on the nervous system can be tremendous. Is it true in your experience?

Enjoy the practice and see you next week,
Sandra

P.S: From 2021, videos will be both in French and in English. The 2020 videos are only available in French.

Anatomie sensible du pied

Exploring our feet

Hello everybody,

The last two weeks we talked a lot about our head. This week, we will move to the other side of the body: our feet.

The feet are the foundation for the entire body. If their support is reduced, the overall confort of the body will be impacted. Posture, pain, injuries can affect this support so does body awareness. The mere fact of being partially disconnected from our feet can indeed reduce their support. Body awareness directly influences the way we use our feet.

Let’s experiment this together in this week’s video with an embodiment on a precise part of the feet: the subtler joint between the talus and calcaneum (heel bone). We will come back later to the benefits of differentiating the different parts of the feet. I will stop here. Let yourself be guided by the video!

Enjoy the practice and see you next week,
Sandra

P.S: From 2021, videos will be both in French and in English. The 2020 videos are only available in French.

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ASCA, RME & Visana

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