My brain on yoga
I stand on my feet, relax, and begin. I check in. My weight is heavier on the outer edge of my feet. As usual. More so on my right foot. Right shoulder is rolling forward. Inhales are shallow, but the exhale is nice and slow. I start. As I move through postures, I hear Roger's voice, "Do your legs rotate as you move between downward dog and incline?" I remember the feeling of Kari's fingers on my spine, encouraging me to allow that one vertebra to soften into line with the rest of them. Periodically, I stand in Mountain again. Being, not doing. I see if my breath is easier, if I can inhale more fully. I notice my weight shifting onto the center of my heels. I feel my shoulders relax and my collar bones opening up.
I do not practice to a soundtrack because I have the soundtrack of my teachers in my head. One teacher has left this earth. I last saw him in October, 2004. One is in another state and I haven't seen her in person in over two years. But there they are, guiding me as I choose what asana to do next. Each one of their comments remains and repeats and reminds me to bring my attention to what is happening in my body.
I observe changes. These days supine mountain is my new friend. I recall how that pose used to be a place that caused actual pain. In time, it became tolerable, but hardly a pose that benefited me. And now, lying on my back with my legs engaged is not only tolerable, it is relief. It brings energy, life throughout my body. I notice how much longer I can hold postures. I feel more freedom of movement in my pelvis as I extend sideways over my leg. I can maintain energy down through my heels even when they aren't on the floor. I am willing to experiment with postures I haven't tried before (or at least not in many years) because I am no longer so hampered by injury. And over and over again, I notice these things because Roger or Kari asks me to check. Where is my weight? Is there less tension? Is there more ease? Am I locking my joints? Or collapsing into them? Am I using my muscles in a balanced manner? Where is there rotation? How am I different?
I hear Roger's bass voice and Kari's mezzo. I hear their laughter and their teasing and their praise and their corrections. It is beautiful music, and it accompanies me every time I step onto the mat.
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Deep, and not so deep, thoughts on bodies, movement, yoga, art, shoes, parenting, dogs. You know, life.