Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pose of the Month: Maricyasana III

So, this month on my yoga community's (The Muses) musasana blog, we are studying Maricyasana III. This week, the study question is:

How can you get more deeply into your upper back?
When we twist, we tend to keep the twist in the mid-back,
around T-11, T-12, and L-1.
Getting it into the upper back is a powerful way of
increasing the twist and making it deeper.

Want to weigh in on the discussion? Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Get Out of the Box

I have been studying the brain lately in reading a book called The Answer by John Assaraf and Murray Smith. Basically the book discusses how our unconscious mind keeps us stuck in our current (usually limiting) way of thinking, stuck in a box. Sometimes the box is pleasant ("My marriage box is lovely!" and sometimes it is mediocre or even very uncomfortable ("My current job is terrible but..."). But it is what we know and there is security in what we know. A step away from the known is scary and we unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) avoid taking the next step. Often we can't even see the next step.

Ready to use your yoga to expand your consciousness? Remember what you do on the mat transfer off the mat and vice versa. Ready to expand out of your box in your job? Marriage? Friendships? You can do it on the mat first. How? Do you always do the same practice or same type of practice? Do you love forward folds and avoid backbends? Do you always want to feel like you’ve worked hard so that your practice “counts”? Do you sit on your mat with no energy and just sit there? Have you done the same 10 poses in the same order for years? Use your practice to break out of the box. Change it up. Do something different! Find a pose you always avoid or one you have never done. Begin to experiment. If you always feel you need a workout, do a restorative practice. If you always do restorative, do something vigorous and get your heart pumping!

Okay, now, does the mere thought of doing something different even for one day bring fear to your heart? That is the sign that you definitely need to do something different!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Savasana is About Not Doing

I was teaching Restorative Yoga the other night and had an insight about my own practice. I used to avoid Restorative Yoga (including Savasana) more than any other types of poses. I have always thought it was because I couldn’t sit still. Tonight, I realized it was about “not doing” and “not struggling”. I hadn’t realized how much in my life I felt I needed to struggle to do. Any success or accomplishments were more satisfying (in other words, they “counted”) when I had worked hard for them. (How many of you appreciate your own gifts? The things that come easy for you? I bet you take them for granted or don’t even see them as well!) I certainly needed to work hard at my exercise whether it was aerobics or yoga. Tonight I learned my greater lesson was the benefit of not doing, of surrender, of not struggling and the benefits that can come from letting go.