"Don't move from the shoulder joint; don't move the arm or wrist. Just concentrate on making tiny micro-movements of the shoulder blade." How is that even possible???
Well, it is. Because about every fourth time I do it, I am able to isolate the movement and feel the subtlety of moving ever so slightly and can almost "see" the shoulder blade sliding around, the skeleton adjusting, the muscles loosening. I trust that the more I do these little moves, the more adept I will become.
Some days I leave yoga class feeling like I've barely moved at all, but my body is "floating" as if I'm walking on air, as my joints and muscles have loosened enough to allow a feeling of freedom that is so often locked tight with old body habits taking over without my noticing. My scoliosis fools me into thinking I'm standing or sitting straight when I'm actually jutting out one hip and lifting one shoulder. To become aware of that is to shift what feels "natural", but one look in the mirror proves I'm not "tipping" with the adjustment; I'm actually now standing straight!
I'm so loving finding therapeutic benefit to yoga. Elizabeth's interest and expertise in this area is motivating me as she has helped me make tiny adjustments that wake up my body awareness and move me out of living in my body in a habitual (and not always beneficial) way.
I wrote recently also about Karen's approach to using restorative slow poses to bring us into a place of peaceful rest...so often neglected in our hustle, bustle lives.
Last Friday, as the music blasted and I tossed a 6 pound medicine ball in the air simultaneously leaning back on the bench in a "boat pose" for ab work, I looked longingly 4 stations ahead at the mat on the floor where I'd get to "rest" in a Spinal Balance pose for one minute -- holding 30 seconds on each side. I love when she throws in some familiar yoga asanas!
When I got there I settled in, tuned out the pounding beat, and let my breath carry my mind to Yoga Circle, where the soft sounds of Jami Sieber's cello music, the swirl of flowing fabric and circle mandalas surround us and the mat is my whole world. I held my pose easily and with gratitude for my body and all it can do, whether it's gripping an 8 pound dumbbell for a bicep curl or a lying on the mat almost imperceptibly moving my shoulder blade.
So grateful for all my teachers, for the opportunity to practice, for the health and vitality I work to maintain, for the weights and the mat and the peaceful, easy feeling of walking on air. ©