Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Revisiting Freedom

Remember how you felt when you first got your driver's license? Liberty and limitless possibilities coursed through you, along with thoughts about driving across this vast country! Coming off a family road trip of my own, I revisited my own independence and thought about how our founding fathers must have felt once they declared the independence of an entire nation. Just like with us getting our license to drive, they found liberty and possibilities (along with a healthy dose of responsibility, as any driver knows). What does this all have to do with yoga? Well, we are "governed" in yoga by rules and limits... some are there for good reason, some are self-imposed, and some need a closer look. This summer, maybe you can find your own freedom within your yoga practice. Find what works for you, within the limits of your body. Explore different paths and trust your intuition. Celebrate your freedom!

What we are practicing now...
A great little yin pose that is truly powerful is Figure 4 against the wall. This is a wonderful pose that helps relieve back pain and opens up stiff hips. Being on your back will also help to reduce blood pressure, if practiced regularly over time.

To come into the pose, sit on the floor with your hips as close as possible to a wall; lower your side to the floor, so your torso is perpendicular to the wall, then roll onto your back and extend your legs. It's okay if you are not right up against the wall, especially if you have tight hamstrings. Take a few breaths in legs up the wall. when you are ready, cross your right ankle over your left thigh, flexing your foot so that you cannot see the bottom of it (your legs make an inverted "4" shape). Begin to bend your left leg, sliding your foot down the wall and bringing your right leg closer to you. Tighter hips: you'll feel this almost immediately, and your hips may rise off the floor - that's okay, as long as you're not straining; if you are, then move away from the wall more. Looser hips: you may need to take your right knee in hand and prop it up and away from you (towards the wall) in order to feel anything.

Once you are there, breathe. Be here for 2-5 minutes, breathing slowly and smoothly and softening the muscles so the connective tissues are taxed, rather than the muscles. When you are done, come back to legs up the wall pose and take a few breaths before moving on to the left side. Ahhhhh....

Schedule updates...
Lorien will be out of town July 18-28, but classes will continue with subs.
  • Starting Wednesday, July 1: Yin yoga at GGBC in Campbell, 6:00-7:00pm; drop in to this class and then stay for meditation! A perfect combination.

Coming up...
  • Beginning August 6, the Thursday evening Yin Yoga class will become an Intro-to-Yoga series.
  • Saturday, August 15: Yoga Soup at Willow Glen Yoga in San Jose, 10:00-11:30am.
  • Monday, August 17: Yin Yoga at  Willow Glen Yoga in San Jose, 4:00-5:30pm.
  • Monday, August 17: Vinyasa Yoga at  Willow Glen Yoga in San Jose, 6:00-7:30pm.