We all have our natural tendencies and habits. The things that come easy to us, and because they are easier, we tend to overdo them. When students first come to yoga, they may fall generally into two categories: strong and stiff, or more flexible and loose jointed. Over time, and as your yoga practice deepens, you will discover you are, more accurately, loose in some areas and strong in others. Certain poses will be useful for stabilizing these loose areas, and other poses will create space where you are tight. The refined work becomes discovering this fine balance through the subtle work you do within the poses.
A wonderful pose to find this balance is in Spinal Stretch, try this:
Whether you consider yourself “flexible” or “stiff”, there are many benefits to discover from a longer hold in poses like Spinal Stretch. The looser students will gain necessary strength, endurance and stability, while the tighter students will find more space in the backs of the legs and the upper back. This pose is a great preparation for downward facing dog, adho mukha svanasana, and is also useful for re-creating balance in the body after something asymmetrical like a twist.
Meghan Goodman is a yoga instructor and professional dance artist who can sometimes be seen dancing on the side of tall buildings. She has been teaching since 2006, and is currently completing a certification in Iyengar yoga under the guidance of training teacher Louie Ettling. For more information on classes, performances, to book a workshop or private session, please visitwww.meghangoodman.wordpress.com
Gratitude is an attitude that can be cultivated not only around Thanksgiving for blessings in our lives, but during each moment of life — towards ourselves! Our brains are programmed to protect and to survive, and when we live a life out in the world it is nearly impossible to avoid feelings of self-judgment or unworthiness.