Saturday, March 18, 2017

Yoga Pt 3



Last week I spoke about my beginning experience with yoga.  Now you know where I stand in this journey.  So let us continue together.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in yoga, but not enough to really do any research on it.  After all, I couldn’t even sit up straight on the floor, how on earth would I be able to do yoga?!
Then God brought Beth into my life.  I attended on Sunday evenings, but not as regular as would be optimal.  Nor did I practice much at home.  Still, after a while, I thought I could see a difference.
I told a friend of mine about the class, told her she should join me.  Her reply was typical.  “I can’t sit on the floor.  I can’t get up off the floor.  I can’t…[fill in the blank]”.  For every excuse she laid down, my reply was the same, “Neither can I”.  She asked me why I did yoga, then.  I told her the answer was simple -  So someday I can!
My friend never did join me & now Beth has had to close her classes.  So I must use what I have learned from Beth, the Tai Chi I took before & from watching my kids at Tae Kwon Do.  And in this wonderful age of the world wide web, I can find countless  YouTube videos on the subject!
I have a fairly simple routine.  I start with what I know as The Mountain.  Move into Giving Glory, hold before hinging at the waist to reach for the floor with my hands.  To manage that I bend my knees until my knuckles are touching.
My goal from there is to lower my butt to the Frog position.  Lean forward, placing my hands in front of me, tucking my toes & moving into the Table.  Untuck toes, bring Table to Child’s Pose.  Come around to cross-legged into meditation.
Ok, so that’s not exactly the routine.  It’s more like the goal.  Most days I’m not even able to obtain Frog, let alone drop my self into it.  My knees need to be strengthened a lot more before that happens.  In the meantime, it’s been rather un-graceful.  Lol
Then I heard about Stick Yoga.  Checked out some  YouTubes & saw where they were going with it.  I make Stick People (topic for another time).  I saw how my personal Stick Person, Dreamer, could be of assistance to me. 
Dreamer

The Mountain is standing on both feet about three feet apart.  Each foot has three points to help you balance.  The heel, the pad under your big toe & the pad under your little toe should all have equal weight.  Your arms are down to your side, palms forward.  I imagine I’m being pulled up by my ears, which tends to line everything up.  Balances the head on top of the spine, stretches the spine & activates the legs.  I find the balance spot for the hips & bend the knees ever so slightly.  (You should always keep the knees slightly bent to maintain circulation throughout your body.)
I inhale slowly & deeply into the gut.  As I exhale I pull my gut in until it’s concave under my ribs.  On each inhale I feel the oxygen fill the spaces between the vertebrae.  The exhale dissipates tension & stress. 
I like to close my eyes, I feel it helps me focus better.  I look for the tense areas, I feel for the balance.  I open up to the energy flowing around me.  I feel it coursing through my legs, up the spine, out the crown of my head & also coming back from heaven, through me, returning to the earth.
I hold each pose at just that perfect place between relaxed & strained.  I take time to breathe into any tightness.  For me it’s my back muscles.  Certain ones want to cramp up on me.  In the beginning I would have to pull out of the pose to stop the cramp.  Now, most of the time, I can breath through it.  I’m learning to use the correct muscles for the job & that takes time to build them.  In the meantime they protest.
Although I have an idea of what I want to work on, I listen to my body.  Some days I can do a pose & it feels good.  The next day I’m unable to even get close to that same pose.  So I do what I can. 
Ok, that’s it for today.  Join me next week, won’t you?  Until we meet again, Be Blessed.
LB

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