Part 1: The physical aspect of change
In the beginning of this 30 day challenge, I shared my goals.
I said, “I would concentrate on two aspects of my yoga practice; 1)consistently using breath to move me into, through, and out of each posture and 2) exercise acceptance and curiosity in each pose, in any given moment.”
I posted photos of the poses ( the photos above inside the studio) I was choosing to use to monitor my progress.
Due to the pain I felt in my shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, my mobility was limited.
Because I excercised acceptance and curiosity, I found where I held my breath, and created resistance in certain postures. This resistance generated muscle tension and strain.
Being committed everyday has helped me to improve my overall focus and flexibility, as well as altering the depth of my stretch in the postures.
I have also notice, the level of pain in my hips, knees, elbows and shoulders is almost non-existent.
In Part 2, I will share with you the non-physical affects I have notice as a result of this challenge.
Whether it’s in the form of oxygen or blood flow, or in the form of joint pain or muscle tension, resistance creates strain on the body.
Everyone learns somewhere along their path that resistance does more harm than good.
Over the years, I asked to have my picture taken in particular yoga poses to see where I could improve alignment.
At one time, while a friend of mine was taking my photo, she noticed I was struggling to get into the posture and asked, why are you resisting?
I questioned, what makes you think I am resisting? She said, you are holding your breath. You should see the veins in your neck. I was not even aware I was tensing up, or holding my breath.
From that point on, I made it a point to monitor my breath, and observe how my body feels when moving in, holding, and moving out of a posture. Standing in front of a mirror makes it easy to detect when I have locked the door to air flow. My friends, the jugulars, just bulge right in.
The second MOST important posture is Savasana
Savasana, also known as “corpse pose” is lying flat on your back while resting your arms and legs at 45 degrees.
The benefit of this pose teaches you to surrender and relax your muscles.
I know, for me, it’s a constant practice to surrender and relax without thinking about a gazillion other things I feel I “should be doing.”
These three to fives minutes may be the only time in the day you consciously practice letting go of stress. Take the gamble.
The only side effect is bliss
We often focus on those times in our lives we think are hard or we obsess over how things should have come out or we berate ourselves over why we think our lives stink.
If you only focus on how shitty your life is, you will never see past the log in your eye.
We make life more of a struggle than is necessary.
Sometimes you just need to purge the inner council.
Have you ever noticed that when you let go of the resistance, things come out smoothly?
You can pratice this mantra before your morning constitution:
I freely let go of what no longer serves me to create space for what inspires me.