Listening to the Noise – Web Exclusive

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How is it to have a client in front of you about to listen to himself, and in that listening, to then share with you what he has noticed? How to receive this noticing in the most open way possible?

If listening to a client throughout the Centering process requires that the practitioner’s whole body/mind be open and receptive, does it not follow that this witness must be centered himself. In order to be centered and grounded, it makes sense that he must have listened deeply to himself before meeting the client. It means that the practitioner checked in, listening to the “noise” that accompanied him into the session space. He knows where and who he is, in other words, he is fully present to himself.

Sounds a bit like a practitioner must be perfect in some way – some seemingly unattainable way. No, it’s not really like that at all. Instead, he must have honed the tools of deep listening and applied them to himself. All that is asked is that he be aware of what’s happening now with all parts of him, acknowledging what might get in the way as he listens to his client.

Of course, this comes with a caveat. When one is trained in how to use the tools of deep listening, as Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioners are, it can be easy for the mind to take over the process of checking in. It goes a bit like this – “I know how I am supposed to feel; I know what being open and receptive looks like.” The next step is that the memory of being ready to receive/listen to your client is what shows up instead of the reality of what is happening for you right now. Perhaps you are in a hurry or you’re tired, or weighed down by decisions to make, unsettled feelings or the anticipation of future events. The not wanting to listen or take the time to check in opens the door to pretending to be fully present to one’s self.

The challenge is to develop a way in to another part of you, a part that can be more authentic in the moment than the mind may be. This most often begins with bringing awareness to one’s body and the sensations present there. It can also include movement, which may show up as yoga asana or pranayama practices. Each practitioner chooses what works for him along with an appreciation that what works today may not offer the same access another day. A more dynamic approach may be called for to create the opportunity for deep listening that is needed to ground and center oneself – one with options for change built in.

So, what door do you go through? What are your options? How do you practice deep, whole body listening yourself before showing up for your clients?

About the Author

Carol Capper

Carol Capper MS, OTR/L is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner and yoga teacher. She has been Assistant Program Manager for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy since 2006. Carol has 30 plus years of experience in the field of mental health as a therapist, educator, and administrator. Much of the focus throughout her career has been using yoga and mindfulness techniques to support clients, students, and colleagues. Her most recent passion is blogging about yoga, yoga therapy, meditation, and mindfulness. She lives by the beach in New York City.

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