You may know the Sea of Tranquility as a body of water located on the surface of the moon. Or you may think that it is a lovely-sounding yet mythical place, kind of like the Fountain of Youth. But you probably don’t realize that is an actual physical spot that you can access anytime, anywhere. It’s located in the center of your breastbone, and it’s an acupressure point with an uncanny ability to quiet agitation and promote relaxation.
To give you an example of how it works: My toddler was having a tough day and wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with getting ready for bed. A major tantrum ensued, which included half an hour or more of crying, screaming, rolling on the floor, and general misery. When she finally calmed down enough to lie on the floor (still sobbing) I rested my palm on her breastbone and sang some her favorite lullabies. In two minutes, she was asleep.
Was it my mesmerizing voice? (Extremely doubtful.) The fact that she had worn herself out expressing her misery? (OK, partly.) What helped her transition out of extreme emotional upset to peaceful sleep so quickly was the Sea of Tranquility. Located in a small divot in your breastbone (pretty much directly in between your nipples) that is often tender to the touch, this magical point quiets emotional upset and deepens breathing, which promotes relaxation. And because of its location on a primary meridian that runs down the center of the body, it also balances the levels of yin (quiet, reflective) and yang (energetic, action-oriented) energies of the body and brings your emotional and physical selves back in to equilibrium.
To access your own Sea of Tranquility and summon its powers, you only have to rest one palm lightly on top of it. I place one palm on the Sea of Tranquility and the other on my solar plexus when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. After a few minutes, I move the palm from my breastbone to just below my belly button, which is grounding. And after a few more minutes, I am out again.
You can also stimulate the Sea of Tranquility during your busy life any time you start to feel overwhelmed and are craving quiet. All you have to do is rest a palm on it and spend a few moments focused on your breathing and the physical sensation of your hand resting on your chest. It’s pretty discreet—you could do it at your desk, while sitting on the bus, or even standing in line at the grocery store. If anyone looks at you funny, just tell them you’ve got heartburn. ☺
Go swimming, and report back
Now you know exactly what to do the next time you’re all worked up over something or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep—stimulate your Sea of Tranquility. Try it for yourself and come back and leave a comment, telling us what you experienced. If I publish your story in the next Vegimental, I’ll send you a copy of the fabulous movie called Enlighten Up! It’s a documentary where a yoga-lover films a yoga skeptic as he experiences everything the yoga world has to offer. It’s funny, it’s thought-provoking, it really makes you think about what is up with all this mind-body stuff. It’s a small film and may not make it to your town. Trust me, you want to see it! So, go swimming already!
Congrats to Cassie Raymond!
She shared a great story about what she’s accomplished that she initially told herself she couldn’t do, and she won a copy of Abby Lentz’ DVD, Heavyweight Yoga 2.
“When I was in my 40s, I took up ballet again–I had given it up when I was 10 and long since regretted it! My daughter’s ballet teacher decided to start an adult class and I was most interested (even though I was FAR from a svelte ballerina in body). After several weeks, I was the only adult left and she asked if I would mind moving into the teen girls’ class. I told her I didn’t mind if they didn’t. Well, one class led to another to another and I finally got toe shoes and was en pointe after 30 years of waiting! I was in several recitals with the young girls and even ended up teaching the little toddlers after a couple of years. It was a decades long dream come true.”
Take care and keep breathing,