DO YOU RESPOND OR REACT? HOW TO LESSEN THE DRAMA
I am feeling that vibe from the universe where I can tell folks are experiencing super busy minds but tiredness at the same time. Perhaps its end of summer buzz where we feel an energetic shift taking place and are in the process of making a million decisions for the next month. Well whatever the reasons I thought we'd focus tonight on clearing the mind and relaxing our hearts. Our philosophical focus on the difference between reacting and responding (only one is healing)!
We will begin seated with meditation, then recline followed by some supine poses to calm and relax. After this we will use standing poses to anchor us more fully into the moment. Finally I will guide us through a step by step approach to learning handstand (working at our own pace) so that you can practice this pose safely at home. At the end of practice we will enjoy an extra long final relaxation to bring it all together.
The poses will help us practice making choices. For we are surrounded with choices some more obviously healthy than others. Yoga wakes us up so we can be more present to the choices we are presented and from there we choose to either react or respond. These aren’t the same thing. Reacting is negative and Responding is positive. Which one are you doing?
Reacting is out of control feeling that just eats up our energy where we are too caught up in the details to understand the situation. Examples include excessive worry and anger. Whereas responding in calm and mindful and we are fully in charge of our feelings so no energy is wasted. We see the big picture. “Respond” comes from two root words: Re- meaning Back, and Spondere meaning “To Pledge.”
As a result in this practice we learn about our old ways of reacting, our habits and instead pledge to ourselves to create healthier habits and respond in a quiet way without the drama. In this way we no longer ourselves trigger fight or flight response with every decision and instead remain more calm. The sympathetic nervous system remains easeful and the mind finds quiet. It’s all here for you to discover on the mat. Love the day! Silvia
YOGA FOR HEALTHY BACKS: FREEDOM!
NOVEMBER 18, 2008: So here's the thing you guys, you know my history, Run Over By Car, Back Pain Result, Yoga is Medicine, No More Back Pain. It's a short story. Now as I've often said in class the physical pain is nothing compared to the emotional toll illness/injury take upon us. I've been there. If feels like you're TRAPPED. Like you can't get out. If feels like what I imagine prison to be like.
So tonight we talked about Freedom as it relates to a healthy back. It was powerful for me and I hope it was for you too. You see I totally believe in FREEDOM: Freedom from physical pain, freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of feelings, freedom to love, freedom to be yourself. But really for me it started as a desire to be FREE of back pain, then it moved into a desire to be free of emotional pain. So here in a nutshell are the key points from tonight's practice. ENJOY! BE FREE, LOVE FREE! Silvia
Yoga Poses help back pain by improving circulation that brings nutrients to the intervertebral disks while removing toxins.. Disks don't have independent blood supply therefore they depend on movement of surrounding structure to aid in the delivery of nutrients. Movement causes the disks to be compressed which squeezes out stale disk fluid and then to expand bringing in fresh supply. Be sure to stretch all major muscle groups around the hip joints: adductors, quads, rotators, hamstrings. When Hip rotators are tight they hold the pelvis too much and the force of movement transfers up to the low back putting strain from there on up the spine.
Best Yoga Pose Focus: Move spine in all 6 directions (flexion, extension, rotation, lateral flexion); Puppy/Cat Tilt on all fours and in Bridge Pose; Hip Rotator Stretches (Supine Pigeon, Seated Pigeon, Pigeon, Standing Pigeon, Warrior Poses; Gentle Twists (Triangle); Safe Forward Bends (Wide Legged or Supine on your back)
Yoga Breathing: Slow deep breaths help ratchet down an overactive stress-response system, which leads to muscle relaxation because it triggers the "relaxation response" the antidote to flight or flight. The focus on all three parts of the lungs (especially deep abdominal focus on exhalations) helps bring in more oxygen. The wave like undulation of deep inhales and exhales gently massage the spinal column which brings nutrients to spinal disks.
"Yoga done right gets more interesting over time. Good poses don't just improve the functioning of the physical body, they engage your mind. Bringing your attention to what you are doing, and precisely how you are doing it, builds the ability to feel your body's signals. This greater proprioceptive awareness (your felt sense of your body position) also allows you to notice changes-this serves as an EARLY WARNING SYSTEM when stress, poor posture or other factors may be leading to back pain." - Dr Timothy McCall