The postural influence of Hatha yoga, once used for a kind of physical self-destruction to release an immortal, post-human self, remains embedded within a contemporary movement practice that promis…
Do more forward folds and give the back of your body a chance to open up and release. Here’s why from Tias Little:
"The fight-or-flight tendency, which I see a lot of, shows up as bracing—especially in the back body—feet, calves, hamstrings, buttocks, lower back, behind the heart, back of the neck. The back body is a real receptacle for this kind of bracing. Well, I guess we have to carry on. We have to stay present. So the back body ends up holding, like a buttress, in order for someone to stay in a situation—so that a fight or flight response can show up as bracing or gripping or really tight hamstrings. From a really young age, people are subject to threats of various kinds—physical, emotional, psychological and the body tissues respond on an unconscious level.”
Post Thanksgiving meal, this is where I’ll be. I’m longing for a silk dress/pantaloons combo like this - perfect for hibernating.
Found on the always inspiring Rachel Johnson Yoga site.
Inhalation engulfs the whole body, expanding from center to periphery. During exhalation, the tide recedes drawing back toward the center. The in-breath is a movement toward the peripheral consciousness; the out-breath moves into the core of consciousness. ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
"If you keep the back skin of the neck passive and the tongue soft, there is no tension in the brain." ~ BKS Iyengar
I think the word “stretch” might be a little misleading in this screen shot - I would replace with the word “move”. I just love Gil’s enthusiasm and poetic approach to the body. Please give this a watch if you have ever moved a muscle in your body. Ever.
This photo is from the Stepford Wives Workout which very well may be sexist. So… gross on that. But just looking at this makes me feel better. She is opening the chest, shoulders, and collar bones without dumping in the low back and sticking ribs and belly out. Front ribs are incorporated into the body and her abdominals are gently engaged and tailbone reaches toward her heels to help lift up and out of the low back.
I like the idea that ALL humans - not just house wives - should move in heathy ways throughout the day. When I sit at the computer all day I feel my body slowly hemorrhaging into a lethargic state. When I get up every once in a while and do a little dance or stretch I feel awake and just plain better. So, if we are to learn anything from a sexist workout, it’s that whatever you’re doing during your day, incorporate some stretching and strengthening throughout and you’ll feel better.
Gal, you seem great. We’d probably have hung out back in the day. But I worry about the dumping going on in your low back here. Let’s go grab a mop/broom and do this again. But this time we will lift up and out of our backs. Our lungs will move forward and we’ll try to find the backbend in our upper backs. Friend, we’ll lengthen our tailbones toward our heels while internally rotating our legs and gently lifting in our low bellies. We’ll try to create openness along the whole spine not just a lot in the low back where we already have a fair amount flexibility. Pal? Right?
This explains what yoga has brought to my life and what I hope to share with others. Read it.
"Yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful. It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga’s greatest neurobiological benefit."
It seems she has a quiet mind at least in this moment. Meaningful things do not need to be complicated, forceful, or difficult. There is much beauty to be found in softness, subtleness, simplicity and clarity. Also, I like anything monochromatic. And I like sleeping.
Vuillard’s Au Lit (In Bed) in Musee d’Orsay, Paris
There is a tinge of frantic insanity in this Mills Brothers song that draws me in. I’m like a cat salivating at the sound of wildly clucking chickens. As the song continues I continue to salivate but never actually get to eat the chickens. But I’m ok with that. If you’re looking to actually get the satisfying meal, I recommend "Lazy River".
This song is on my personal yoga mix these days and I’ve been putting it on repeat for the whole hour. It becomes a meditation for me.
I like to talk about breathing. Here is a video of me doing just that.