Thoughts

Ode To Child’s Pose

yogaflavoredlife.com

We’ve all done it one way or another. Looked forward to the moment in a power class, in between vinyasas or after a long held side plank, that we can gently glide into the one and only, Child’s Pose or Balasana.

Sometimes we hold it longer or choose it over Downward Dog, just to get that wondrous lower back stretch a little deeper. Those hips opening a little wider. The thighs stretching, knees gently bending, head resting. Oh, it’s so good.

But at times, my ego gets in the way of my practice and I think my Child’s Pose tendencies just aren’t good enough. I’m spending too much time relaxing and not enough time challenging myself.

So lately, I haven’t been to many yoga classes, and instead I’ve been riding my bike to and from work. It’s an hour each way and definitely a challenge (for me at least). One thing I completely forgot about cycling is it’s pretty tough on one’s posture. I’m a little hunched forward and my neck is firmly held in the same position as I go over bumps and up and down hills.

I’ve been really  noticing the effects of cardio, which are great, but also the effects of not doing yoga. Unsure as to what stretch would help by upper spine and neck muscles, I went to my default before bed one night. Child’s Pose.

Amazing. Light stretching, deep breathing to really open up my ribs, arms reaching along the ground. I felt better after a few minutes.

I’ve heard several teachers call Child’s Pose one of the most important postures in yoga. So, I decided to explore it’s benefits as reinforcement (not that I need it) to sit back and embrace Balasana for all it’s worth.

I’ve found a nice explanation here: http://www.yogawiz.com/blog/yoga-benefits/yoga-for-child.html in an article called Child Pose Yoga: Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Tension And Fatigue

Here’s  an excerpt:

it helps to restore normalcy to your body’s circulation after performing the pose. Performing this pose is also beneficial for strengthening and toning the muscles in certain areas like the hips, ankles and thighs in particular… In addition to these benefits, the Child Pose also helps provide relief from certain types of back and neck pain.

So as much as our egos may want to throw us into something a little harder on the body, a little more physical, a little more active. There’s nothing quite like curling into that comfortable, beneficial ball with no worries and the ability to be completely present – just like a child.

An Afternoon with Thich Nhat Hanh

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to yesterday’s “Open Mind, Open Heart; Touching the Wonders of Now” talk at the Orpheum with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh {source: http://wkuplondon.wordpress.com/about/our-teacher-thich-nhat-hanh/}

Thich Nhat Hanh, who turns 85 in October, is one of the most respected Zen masters in the world. Also a poet and peace and humans rights activist he is the founder of several organizations, including Plum Village, and has spent his years working with refugees, political prisoners, hungry families throughout the Third World, veterans, and on meditation retreats. Author of over 85 titles of poems and prayers, Thay, as he is known by his students, practices “the art of mindful living” and wrapped up his week in Vancouver with a public talk at the Orpheum.

While I wasn’t able to attend the whole retreat that was held at UBC last week, it was an honour and a privilege to spend a few hours at the Orpheum yesterday afternoon. The afternoon included guided meditation and songs of prayer, along with his lecture that focused on the practices of mindfulness and being happy in the present moment, the here and now.

He explained that being mindful is being present in the here and now, and when we practice mindfulness we are always in the here and now. While the concepts he describes are so simple, so easy to understand we, I know I, struggle with remembering to be in the present moment, to let go of the past & not rush for the future but to enjoy everyday for what it is because “this is all there is.”

Today, I still find myself processing the day looking for the simple ways to bring mindfulness more readily into my daily life, but was left with the overwhelming feeling of content, content in my here and now. If you did not have a chance to hear him speak yesterday or attend the retreat last week, here is a clip on Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings;

Thich Nhat Hanh

BREATHE DEEP FOR INSPIRATION

“Two poles of a battery between which energy flows – in this way bandhas conduct breath through the body. Working against the force of gravity and achieving lightness; a union between the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms.” – Unknown

Last week well known Strength and Conditioning Coach Carmen Bott  CEO of Human Motion Strength & Conditioning (and friend – shameless plug),  asked an amazing question to her fellow friends and team:

 “Connective tissue then, in its various shapes and consistencies, forms a continuous net throughout the entire body. It contains many specialized structures, but it is really one piece, from scalp to soles, from skin to marrow. – Deane Juhan.

So then, how do we isolate the pelvic floor?”  – Carmen Bott

My extension of this question seeks to explore the answer as it relates to Yoga and the connection between the abdominal diaphragms (the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms), in addition to the activation of the mula bandha (in scientific terms the pelvic floor) through deep breathing techniques.

First let’s look at movement and posture for a moment and begin with the simple fact that “posture” comes from the Latin word placement – it is an action, much like sitting or standing. We are never truly placed in stillness, as we are always moving, shifting, balancing and adapting – even in the stillness of mediation and yoga. Therefore, as outlined in our on-going exploration of the interconnected fascial web – isolation is not plausible.

Secondly,  let’s recognize that the pelvic floor is not solely a muscle; its function is complex as it acts as a diaphragm and plays an integral role in breathing mechanics, but is commonly overlooked.  In actuality all three diaphragms pelvic, respiratory and vocal come together in yoga movements that are coordinated to facilitate the breathing cycle. Feeling how breathing works is a good way to realize the power of the diaphragms working  jointly, or sometimes working against one another, as seen in faulty mechanics.

Today’s article, we  are looking for reciprocity between the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms. When relaxed and in balanced acture, they face each other (like a beach ball) with a top and bottom. Understanding that we are always moving and our posture is constantly changing, the positioning of the shoulders-to-spine and spine-to-pelvis can vary; therefore  balance and reciprocity between these two diaphragms (like a slightly deflated or overly inflated beach ball) can be compromised. Balancing of the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms means an equal balance between 4 main muscle groups; which Tom Myers calls the four pillars.In easiest terms – a  constant balance of the back muscles, psoas complex, and the abdominals with breathing supported, ensures that the pelvic cavity is properly pressured.

In Yoga deep breathing techniques are used to bring about an awareness of the muscles associated with breathing, align proper intra abdominal pressure and calm the body into a state of stillness.

Of particular interest to Yoga practitioners is the action of mula bandha (pelvic floor) or as Carmen Bott’s question asked “So then, how do we isolate the pelvic floor?”

We already know isolation is not truly plausible, but through breath we can engage the pelvic floor and associated fascia– simply by initiating a lifting action produced in the pelvic floor muscles that also includes the lower fibers of the deep abdominal layers through breath.  Mula bandha is an action that moves apana upwards, and works to stabilize the central tendon of the diaphragm and fascial net.  Inhalation, while this bandha is active then requires a release of the attachments of the upper abdominal wall, which then permits the diaphragm to lift the base of the ribcage upwards establishing energetic dynamics of the pelvic girdle and aids to properly pressurize the pelvic cavity.

When relaxing the body in the more supported, horizontal, restorative practices and postures, it is important to remember to release the bandhas and constrictions that are associated with vertical postural support. This gives rise to zen-mode-relaxed breath work!

 Deep Breathing Yoga Exercises:

  • The Stimulating Breath /  Bellows Breath:  which aims to stimulate the pelvic floor/mula bandha and reflex actions of the diaphragm through quick exhalation)
  • The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise: (nurturing and calm meditative breath work to balance out the breath cycle)
  • Breath Counting: (designed to lengthen and strengthen the breath cycle through targeted breath counting)

All of these breathing exercises are adapted from various yogic breathing technique, all of which aim to raise vital energy and increase alertness, a clear state of mind and a physical stillness through movement and unify the abdomen through the respiatory and pelvic diaphragms – your organs will thank you for co-mingling support!

Sources:

Posture in Action, Anatomy Trains: Tom Myers (http://www.anatomytrains.com/)

Breathing Exercises: For a complete breakdown of breathing exercises link to Dr. Weil at   (www.drweil.com)

Carmen Bott, M.Sc, B.H.K,  CSCS: Founder & President of Human Motion Strength & Conditioning (http://www.humanmotion.ca/home.php) Blog: (http://www.carmenbott.com/blog2/)

For Sharon

blurtit.com - Sharon loved hummingbirds

I recently lost someone dear to me. My boyfriend’s mother, Sharon, passed away from a severe case of adenocarcinoma. In other words, stage 4 lung cancer which had spread throughout her body and into her brain and there was just no stopping it.

I’ve thought and wrote a lot about being grateful and living presently, but never before have I truly felt I understood it until now.

Each moment, breath, day is a blessing. This is reiterated to us all the time in yoga. But do we actually believe it? I don’t think I did until I saw how quickly someone’s life can change for the worse.

Is this why so many good people go sooner than others? To be our teachers, our reminder? To fully take in all we can, enjoy the ride and the bumps that come with it because we never really know when it will end. Be out of reach.

Sharon’s family is doing remarkably well considering they’ve lost a mother, wife, auntie, sister. I don’t know if I’d be so positive. Where does this optimism come from? Seeing the good in this sudden loss which should bring negativity, pity, remorse. And that’s just it. There is no remorse felt by my boyfriend Steve or his family. There wasn’t anything they wished they told her. No more I love you’s or words of appreciation and encouragement. No regret of not seeing, calling, emailing her enough. No grudges left unforgiven. No torturous wondering of how she felt about them. Nothing.

In all the sadness and heartache. Questions of why and confusion. Sharon’s family came out of this sadness with peace.

So I’d like to use this as my reminder and anyone else’s who may need it. To take those silent peaceful moments in yoga or throughout the day and really use them for what they’re meant for. Thanking ourselves, thanking the ones we love, and truly acknowledging how much we have to be grateful for. Finding even a bit of light in a heavy situation because at least we are having an experience and most likely learning something.

Even in the loss of Sharon, her loved ones take the good out of the situation with them. She didn’t suffer for long. Memories of her being herself rather than a sick person are dominant. Now she can always be with us, no location separates us.

Now, I know every time someone passes away, endless kind things are shared. Nothing bad. In Sharon’s case (and I am not being biased) she truly was a delight. A warm, loving, open hearted person. Her family’s gracious handling of her passing proves all the admiration to be genuine.

So now it’s time for a thank you, to Sharon. In this hard time, I learned something sacred. I hope you as readers have, too.

Vancouver Pride

What an amazing weekend in our beautiful city!  The Celebration of Light and Gay Pride.  It got me to thinking?  If we are to recognize the light in others, we must first accept ourselves:  gay, straight, short, tall, fat, skinny.  If we are able to accept ourselves, we are free to accept others.  We are able to come from a more authentic place.  A place of love.  This is where yoga comes in because it takes us on a journey of self realization.

A friend came to me with a problem this week because of a person in his life who chooses to see him in the past.  Life is constantly changing.  It is important for us to move forward and grow without being shadowed by past regrets or judgements.  We wouldn’t be in the place we are today if it wasn’t for our past experiences.  For example, I recently became a vegan.  I had a friend tell someone that was inquiring about my dietary choices, “I’ve seen her chow down on a burger.”  Yes, that is true.  It is because I used to eat meat that I choose not to now.  Does that make my current decision any less valid?

By no means am I perfect.  What is perfection?  Yoga helps me to recognize the good in myself and others.  I am truly grateful to live in a place where we have access to yoga and the freedom to express our pride.

Lead by example.  Be proud of who you are!  Celebrate who you are because you are unique.  As long as your intentions are not to hurt, you will change those around you for the better.  This is the energy that moves mountains.

Namaste.

Teacher Appreciation

As I have mentioned before, I am in the final stages of my very first Yoga Teacher Training program. Yesterday, I delivered my final practicum: a 60min Flow sequence designed by yours truly.

Despite having taught yoga before in a number of informal contexts, nothing really prepared me for teaching a group of 10 people staring at me wide-eyed and awaiting instruction. I learned something yesterday—teaching yoga is really hard! Harder than I had imagined.

As a teacher, you have to anticipate the mood and abilities of the students in front of you with every step they take. You have to make decisions about what to do next and how, all the while giving instruction aloud and making verbal and physical adjustments.

You have to modify the routine for particular students’ needs and time the class appropriately, which may mean diverting from your very secure, well-planned and typed-up sequence.

The teacher has to make sure that what happens on one side, happens on the other. That what you open, you also soften. That you provide safe and effective guidance, while creating a fun and uplifting atmosphere.

Today, after teaching my sequence and reaching the culmination of many weeks of training, reading and learning, I am thinking of the teachers who brought me to this point. I have had so many brilliant, kind, thoughtful and extremely talented teachers!

I am very excited to be able to give back some of the passion that I have received in my classes. I fully appreciate now that my journey has a teacher has just begun and it’s going to take a lot of hard work!

Source: http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=yoga+teacher&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbnid=WLp3SqRvYmbo-M:&imgrefurl=http://froglotusyoga.com/events/teachers.htm&docid=8hdpImeyDRTwkM&w=360&h=312&ei=D1AwTt2jOpTXiAKHttAr&zoom=1&biw=1342&bih=716

Tough Decisions…

Making decisions = agonizing.

True.

But the fact is that we create the suffering. The decision-making process can be as simple as; weighing the evidence, choosing, and then taking any necessary action.

I know, that sounds crazy.

I’m exploring the possibility. Feeling it out. Maybe I can make big decisions, tough ones (you know the ones I mean) and then just let it go. Move on. Let life unfold, stop pushing. You get the picture. It’s like if you really want to get into lotus or press up into wheel it doesn’t feel right, but if you just do it, it does. It’s like that. I’m working on it.

So I made a pretty tough decision this week. I had to choose between a retreat with Thich Nhat Han and a job that I really want. I chose the job, and instead of dwelling in the land of regret I am accepting my decision and not dwelling you-know-where. Because I had my reasons and I thought it through and took the necessary actions and that’s it.

Source: womanaroundtown.com

It feels a lot better than making the decision and constantly second-guessing my reasoning and agonizing over it. I’m not saying that I won’t have regrets, but this approach could work.

Although, if you have a life changing retreat with Thich Nhat Han in August, maybe don’t tell me.

FIND BALANCE OUTSIDE THE LINES: THE LATERAL LINE

We live a world were our structural language is centered around cause-and-effect. Western world requires us to understand systems by dividing them into their own unique parts, in order to define the contribution of each identifiable bit in relation to the whole. The concern with this line of thinking is that the human body is not assembled out of parts, it is a uniquely connected whole.  

Yoga and fascial based philosophy works to embrace the very notation that when you change or impact the structural components of one line, you innately effect and structurally change them all. Thus, we are a sum of all parts – a web of connected myofascial mass.

Last week we looked at the role of fascial communication, a great tool towards linking mind and body, and over the last several weeks have looked at 4 out of the 12 fasical lines related to athletics and prevention of injury.  In this article we continue to discuss the interconnected web of our fasical system with the Lateral Line.

For many linear athletes a common structural breakdown related to a lack of lateral stability, or a lack of rotational mobility, stem from a weak link in the lateral line.

Why? Simple – runners and cyclists are forward motion repetitive athletes and if not balance out with lateral mobility and rotational stability based movement patterns, common strain patterns can start to surface; such as knee pain, ITB pain, or pelvic deviations.

The Anatomy:

Your lateral line transverses each side of the body, starting at the neck, with then scalenes and sternocleidomastoid, then connects to the iliocostalis cervis, traverses in a woven pattern  to your torso at the external and internal obliques,  lateral ribs and intercostals, and deep QL’s. Following along the lateral line then connects fascially over your TFL, IT band and gluteus group; which further connects over the fibular head to your peroneals and then the fibular malleolus.

In movement the lateral line creates lateral flexion in the spine, abduction of the hip and eversion of the foot, as well as acts as an adjustable “brake” for lateral and rotational movements of the trunk. It also helps to balance out the left and right sides of the body.

The repetitive habitual movements seen in running and cycling, forms one’s posture, and the posture requires changes in the structure – the body’s fascial ‘fabric’. In other words, a gesture becomes a habit becomes a posture and eventually lodges in our structure. Thus compensations can occur and becomes a reality, like rounded back or forward head carry, but can be treated and fixed.

Adding in rotational mobility drills and side flexion and extension movement patterns can improve overall performance and establish balance in all the lines discussed previously.   

In Yoga the lateral line can be strengthened by integrating these asanas:

  • Half-moon pose  
  • Triangle pose
  • Gate Pose
  • Lateral Side & Extended Angle Pose
  • Mountain Pose with Lateral Flexion

Soft Tissue Release to these areas can reduce tension to the lower mechanics:

  • TFL (tensor fasciae latae)
  • ITB (Illiotibal band)
  • Gluteus Group

 Sources: Thomas Myers – Anatomy Trains

Sound Journey with Matthew Kocel

This week was brilliant. I finished the second part of my 3-stage yoga teacher training certification. The highlight? After 8 straight days in class, our teacher Dan Clement arranged to have the Vancouver-based sound healer, throat singer and energy worker, Matthew Kocel, spend an afternoon with us before our 2-day break.

It was marvelous.

After a short intro about his journey and his work, Matthew explained that all matter is composed of dense vibrating energy. Combining the pure sounds of a harmonium, crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, conch shells, throat singing and mantra, Matthew creates sound that resonates in our bodies at a very tangible, energetic level.

He then invited us all to lie down on our mats and “go on a sound journey” with him.

Words seem so deficient for explaining the depth of experience we all felt. Without attempting to explain and thus limit the range of sensations my peers and I encountered, it was clear that something wonderful was happening. I was being moved by sound, my whole body was light and vibrating.

Matthew’s website is www.omshaman.com I strongly recommend attending one of his sound journeys – you will be amazed by the effects of sound on your body, mind and spirit.

Matthew trained as a massage therapist and attained his Reiki Master Level while in Colorado. He has delved into other energetic healing practices (see his website for more details, as well as music and events). He performs sound journeys routinely in the Vancouver area, as well as one-on-one healing sessions which combine all of his healing arts.

Matthew Kocel, www.omshaman.com Source: http://omshaman.com/fr_musicforawakening.cfm

Practicing Yoga Eases Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Science is just beginning to verify what yoga practitioners have known for eons, namely, that regular yoga practice positively impacts and changes your mood, body and health. Yoga has even been shown to aide cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy according to a study done at NIH. And it teaches tools to help patients reclaim their lives both on and off the mat.

Asanas, or the physical poses, are the most obvious form of yoga. Moving standing, sitting, backbends, inversions and restorative poses strengthens the body, makes it more flexible and realigns collagen to help improve daily movement. Both the range of asanas and the basic tenants of yoga are ideal for cancer patients. All poses aren’t for everyone; if a practitioner experiences pain, they should alter the pose, or stop and move into a restorative position like child’s pose. Yoga Journal provides a great look at how chemotherapy affects yoga practice. Working and breathing through the asanas helps patients put the attention into their bodies and examine areas of discomfort. Breathing into problem areas causes a release of the tension. Often medication side effects cause aches and pains but are eased through yoga. And even if a patient is loosing hair, he or she finds a renewed self respect and strength.

Breath work is often called pranayama. Students practice breathing and moving energy into discomfort. Many people undergoing cancer treatment report using breath control whenever possible, from waiting for a doctor’s prognosis to undergoing an uncomfortable procedure. One such pranayama is big belly breathing, where you expand your belly in big, long breaths. This slows your heart rate and calms you down, bringing awareness and oxygen into your body without causing excitement or anxiousness. It is a technique everyone including people with cancers such as mesothelioma should put into practice.

Of course other factors play a part, like meditation, which helps a person find their true self and center. Studies have shown that regular meditation can reduce chronic pain. The concept of ahimsa, the practice of nonviolence to oneself and others, helps cancer patients find a non-harming way of viewing their bodies, the treatment process and the medicine, which is commonly defined as poison for the cancer. In this way, yoga provides a different outlook on the world and feeling in your body. Even in your darkest days, possibly even living with a big uncertainty, like an unknown mesothelioma life expectancy, your quality of life can significantly improve with practice.

Author Bio: Jillian McKee works as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Her time is spent mostly on outreach efforts and spreading information on complementary and alternative medicine use in cancer treatment. You can contact her at [email protected] and check out the Cancer Alliance at @canceralliance on Twitter and Facebook.com/mesotheliomacance.

A Reality of Gratitude

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In yoga, we are reminded by our teachers to take a moment each day to be grateful for all we have. We sit on our mats, eyes closed, and give recognition to how lucky we are. In class, relaxed and clear headed, this gratitude seems easy to find. But each day, outside of our yoga kula, this gratitude is often buried by life and its many happenings.

I recently visited Bali, Indonesia. A getaway I’ve dreamed of for years to make my surfing fantasies a reality. I pictured crystal clear ocean, white sandy beaches surrounded by colourful hibiscus and a peaceful tranquility. Everyone I’d met who visited the tiny island has a love story they attach to it. And I wanted mine.

From the moment I stepped outside the airport and onto a nearby street to catch a taxi, my mental image of Bali vanished as the reality took over. Traffic like I’ve never seen, four person families speeding along the road’s shoulder with no helmets in sight. Rows of run down shacks and empty lots of debris lined the streets.

I thought hopefully to myself, the beachside areas will be better. They were worse. Packs of locals trying to sell you anything from a flower petal to a paper fan chase us along the crowded walkway. Men in rickety boats constantly call to us for a “good price” island tour. Young children, shoeless and unaccompanied, reach for me to give them money, after all, in this part of the world we are rich. Millionaires to be exact.

As much as there is beauty in this very bustlingly popular place, I have never had my eyes opened quite like they were each day in Bali. I’ve never desired to come home after being away. I’m always upset on the last day of my vacations, dreading the routine life that awaited me. This time, for the first time, I looked forward to it. To the clean water, air, streets, and homes. To the opportunity, education, activities, and food. To the mundane job, routine weeks, orderly transportation, and safety.

It’s funny how we often go away to relieve ourselves from our realities only to learn that these realities are a blessing. My recent third world experience reminds me to take my gratitude with me outside the yoga world and keep it from being buried in my daily life.

Take It Easy

Taking it easy when you usually don’t is its own kind of challenge. I am practicing Ashtanga yoga these days. Two days of led primary series and four days of Mysore at 6:00 am. But I worked for nine hours on my feet yesterday and today I was tired… and stiff… and sore. So I took it easy. As easy as you can take it in the Ashtanga primary series.

I felt guilty? Not guilty, but I had to rationalize this decision to myself. I had to continually remind myself that it is my practice and I can (and should) practice in a way that feels good.

Figuring out how much effort is appropriate is a theme in my life. I know that there are some people who do not have this problem, but all so-called “type A” yogis recognize this in themselves. Working hard is a virtue, but working too hard is dangerous. Vancouver’s own master teacher Bernie Clark characterizes it the best when he talks about how you can optimize health and you can optimize performance, but you have to choose.

And you have to examine your goals very closely.

I have found that the Ashtanga practice taps in to my competitiveness and drive to progress. I want to be able to reach the full expression of every pose because I’m goal oriented. But that’s not why I do it. I do it because it opens my heart and allows me to be more compassionate and loving.

I am committed to optimizing health, not performance. But taking it easy can be hard work too, sometimes.

OUR CONSCIOUS ‘WEB’ : ARE YOU LISTENING?

Over the course of the last several weeks we have looked at the benefits of the fascia system, and showcased a few of the meridian lines with relation to the practice of yoga and sport, but before we break the lines down further, lets take a moment to  bring the fascia system into consciousness and reconnect with the bigger picture.

Yoga and sport are not just about muscles and contractions – it’s about whole body communication and connection to the self. It’s about a whole series of systems working together as a unified symbiosis of pure movement.

We have discussed that this body wide net is one of the body’s most significant communicators in providing us with feedback and messages as a response mechanism to what is going on in our body. It is a conscious web, always present, communicating mechanical messages in and around the body, a synergistic dance of tension and compression,  force and stability.

The question is…are you listening?

These whole body linkages, not only shed light on how the body responds to pain, discomfort, energy levels etc, –  but there is a much larger connection between the fascia, the body and the mind; which is much more powerful.

Yoga engages the body and mind in a way that has therapeutic benefits and acts as a gateway to “re-form” ones self, our purpose and acts to discipline the mind through working with the body. Our attitude, energy and behaviors play a significant role in how our fascia responds; thus a conscious, all encompassing sensory experience.

Myofascial Meridians can give you a deeper understanding of the whole-body patterning needed in posture and function, in every day life and in performance based athletics. It gives us insight into the very concept that isolating a muscle or “area” is rarely the problem or failure, (meaning just one muscle, or the point of failure in the structure resulting in pain). When you experience knee pain or back pain, your whole body and every system experiences this on a biological level, however, we are custom to thinking and feeling it within a narrow lens. Yoga can help expand our perception and allow us to listen and become more aware of each movement as a whole body experience.

In transformational bio mechanics and functional movement (which Yoga paved the way for), this is called re-modeling or re-patterning.

“The way we have looked at Western anatomy is undergoing a somewhat of a revolution, or a paradigm shift. You’re constantly remodeling your system both in response to your psychological experience and your physical experience, and your habitual experience, including your exercise. So that if we starting looking at how this system operates as a system we would start to see a whole other way in which the body is conscious. Yoga can be seen as a fascial remodeling technique” – Tom Meyes, The Magazine of Yoga

For example, the ‘Spiral Line’ can show you how to resolve and re pattern rotational compensations or a lack of spinal mobility in a way that no assessment of any single muscle can give.

Fascia has ten times the innervating power then muscle; therefore, it is a grand communication tool and conscious operating system to tune into. Next week our exploration of the fascia web and anatomy trains continues with the Lateral Line, where we will explore a movement meditation for understanding the mechanics and benefits to side bends, and lateral movement.

Sources: Tom Meyers – Anatomy Trains & The Magazine of Yoga

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