Thursday, July 05, 2007

Stitching and relaxation

Like many stitchers, for me, stitching is a means of relaxation and switching off at the end of a busy day. Sometimes I also try a bit more in the way of relaxation exercises, meditation or yoga.

I was thinking about how I feel when stitching, what it is about it that I find relaxing and I was wondering whether it might be possible to combine the stitching and the meditation. It might sound weird but I believe there’s something in it. It’s not so much meditation, but Mindfulness, being very aware of what you’re doing while stitching. Wikipedia defines Mindfulness as being “intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally”. And this it is possible to do while stitching.

Next time you’re stitching, somewhere peaceful and quiet if possible, why not give it a go?

Try this –

Become aware of your breathing. Feel the air flowing in and out through your nose or mouth. Watch your chest rise and fall with each breath.
Become aware of your needle, of the light shining on it, of the shape and feel of it in your hand.
Watch the needle as it pierces the fabric and disappears through to the other side. Feel the resistance of the fabric, feel the thread travelling through after the needle. Feel the texture of the fabric and the thread.
Watch as each individual cross is created, one leg at a time, how the thread works to form the cross, how groups of crosses work together, how different colours work together.
If you’re doing other stitches, watch how the stitch forms, how individual strands of thread work together to create the stitch.
Compare the rhythm of your stitching and the rhythm of your breathing.

This works wonders for me. I really find I can reach a very relaxed almost meditative state.

And I also find it fascinating to watch individual stitches coming to life and working with other stitches I’ve already made.

Perhaps I should go and do some more relaxation now - I'm getting all excited as I think I'll finish the last Mill Hill kit today. Here at work, I'm finding my mind wandering to all the lovely projects I could start when this is done. However, I need to focus on my priorities - next up is my round robin, the fabric for which arrived on Tuesday.


Cheryl said...

Im feeling more relaxed just reading that!! Glad im not the only one who dreams of the stitching awaiting at home whilst at work :) Can't wait to see you start your RR!

Lynn said...

lol well it relaxed me alright,.. I fell asleep mid stitch rofl but then I can fall asleep on a washing line any way lol

Vonna said...

With four young children, I cannot find a peaceful/quiet moment, but I do know that when I'm stitching I'm the calmest best place I can be! :)

Itching To Stitch said...

Stitching and relaxation - two words meant to go together ;)

Lavender Rose said...

This relaxing is half the joy of stitching to me...has been through all the years of raising children to my years now of being a new grammie!! I'm glad it helps you, too!

Sally said...

I so need some relaxation so will try this! I don't find that my stitching is relaxing me enough and it normally does.I am so worked up this week and struggling to get a decent night's sleep!