There is Always Room for Movement
As a continuation from last week’s post about why I love yoga, I find it so interesting that there is always room for movement in each and every pose. Just as I spoke about last week, no matter how far you get into the pose, there is always a more advanced option that you’re working towards. Similarly, no matter how far you get into a pose, you will find that if you focus and really use your breath, that there is always room to move. A common movement that I love to work on is expansion on the inhales and softening on the exhales. I find that a really good indicator that you’ve gone too far into a pose is if you find that you feel stuck or that you can’t breathe. For example, in a standing side bend, I used to just to just go as far as possible, with zero engagement, and I literally couldn’t breathe. What I eventually learned through practice was that I was basically crunching and compressing, so I needed to learn how to find engagement and bend with strength rather than collapse into the pose. Now I can go just as far as before, but I can easily breathe because I know how to engage my body to support myself. When teaching, I find this happens pretty frequently for people in hero pose. It seems like many people have it in their minds that they are a failure with the pose if they don’t lie all the way back onto the ground. The thing is, to be able to get into supta virasana, you have to have pretty flexible quads and psoas muscles. So then if they don’t have that flexibility and they go all the way back, they may feel stuck in the pose and definitely won’t be able to have a nice even breath. When I first started yoga, I went with a friend of mine and she did exactly that and she whispered to me that she was stuck and started panicking. It was really funny after the fact, but during she felt genuinely panicked. So I find that this indication from your body really helps you to start listening to your body. As we grow up and have to face many different life experiences and circumstances, I find that we become very good at ignoring the signals of our bodies. When we begin to practice yoga and begin to pay attention to our breath, we begin to tune back into our bodies. When we connect back into our bodies, then we can find movement through our poses and really work with our breath. You will even find that your body really varies from day to day depending on the activities you’ve been involved with. The potential for further movement, no matter how far you get into the pose, is one of the many reasons that I LOVE yoga!