Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Summer #3

Golden Flower image compliments of

A wonderful summer of family, yoga, friends, flowers, (work), and fun is going on up here in the north country!

Though I have not found my path to daily meditation (yet), I have had great success with creating a customized yoga practice for myself every day.  This is a wonderful step for me; I have not had to push myself to do yoga in any way, shape, or form.  Allowing my practice to shift to meet my current state is most welcome.  I have also learned that when I'm feeling down, though I do need to start slowly, it usually helps to bring some strong poses into my practice.  It lifts my energy and my spirits.  It also meets my Olympic summer goal: to get my heart pumping every day.

The book Yoga for Wellness (Kraftsow) is such a treasure trove of practices.  It is very special to me as I now know so much more about how to practice yoga in the viniyoga style.  The greatest thing I learned at my training was how to, rather than "moving with the breath," to let the breath envelop the movement.  So that each movement starts by inhabiting the breathing apparatus and allowing the movement to flow from there.  The movement closes before the exhale is complete, allowing mindfulness of the breath to be paramount.

Somehow this focus takes the yoga deeper - out of the musculature - and deeper into the fascia, the organs, and to me, the energy body.  

I've been working with the Yoga Therapy for Depression Physiological Rebalancing practice found here:
I have been combining this practice with a developmental practice for neck and shoulders found in Yoga for Wellness for a tremendous workout that balances my axial-appendicular relationship.  

I had a terrible time right at the end of college, with a neck that did not want to cooperate with my final term papers!  It took a few visits to the chiropractor to get those papers done and I limped home and tried some trigger point therapy which I thought helped immensely.  It is interesting to me that as I go deeper into the many layers of past that live on in the body, I find this injury did not heal completely.

It highlights a truth that I am learning through experience - without work to unravel past hurt, trauma, and injury, the body will instead wrap itself around those pain points.  The fascia, the muscles, the ligaments... all of it will set in chronic patterns.  Years later, you may have no idea that the pain in your hip has anything to do with that old neck injury, but lo and behold, as you work the hip and shoulder girdles, it all shows as not only related, but related in a causal way.

It's fascinating work.  Many days I wish I could turn off the world and just practice... but alas there is much else that calls me into the world.

Also if you are looking for meditation resources, I have found this great CD by Tara Brach
I find myself, for many reasons, very reluctant to meditate - to face my own mind.  This CD has guided meditations that make meditation a little more safe to me.  I hope to use them as a crutch to increase my confidence in my own buddha nature, in my own basic goodness, in my ability to witness (as opposed to my tendency to identify with the thoughts and emotions.)

More soon - happy time on the mat to you all.

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