How do we learn to move the parts of ourselves that usually don’t? I think about this (a lot) as I try to teach yoga in a way that enhances our knowledge of our bodies and makes moving with greater freedom possible. One of my recent successes was figuring out how to use a block (something that almost every yoga studio has - but you could attempt this with a large paperback or a tightly rolled up towel at home too) to help my students isolate movement at the thoracic spine (aka the middle back) in a few exercises that can be pretty tricky to do solo. Give it a try by watching the regular-speed video above (no sound, totally SFW) - I think you'll feel some shifts in parts of your ribcage that would love to open up and move! How does it feel to breathe after?
When we roll up and down as attempted in the video, we're creating more segmentation in our spine - rather than moving the same piece over and over again that already knows how to move well, we're learning how to move other pieces. How different would our lives be if we could mobilize the parts of ourselves that are used to being stuck?
Change isn't easy, but when we have greater awareness of our own patterns, it's easier...
ps. Will you be in town over Thanksgiving? If yes, I hope you’ll join me on Thanksgiving Day for a special class focused on cultivating gratitude, steadiness, and joy. We will free up any life- or travel-induced tightness (bring your out of town guests!) with self-massage, flow with newfound ease, and practice strengthening actions within traditional poses. You'll be thankful for all that yoga and moving well can do for you :) Details:
Thursday, Nov 22 / 9 - 10:45 a.m. / Yoga Bliss in Gaithersburg
pps. Marylanders, did you know that our state has a question on the ballot about same-day voter registration? Regardless of where you land politically, I hope you'll consider supporting this measure, which would allow people to register to vote on Election Day (currently, voters only have until Oct 16 to register by mail and until Nov 1 to register in person). Don't we want everyone who has moved since the last election to be able to vote? You can read more about the issue here. Even if you don't want to vote on who should fill any other office (you can leave those parts of your ballot blank if you choose), you can do something that allows others to have this right. I'm a believer in living our yoga off the mat, and this is a real way to ensure that more of our fellow citizens have a voice. It's like saying 'namaste' (the divine/light/humanity in me sees the divine/light/humanity in you) through action.