Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Third Interlude for Wellness --- Day 4/69

Walk: Trader Joe's
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga

Ciwt concentrated on standing balance poses today.  At any age, balance poses are grounding, calming (yes, once you find your edge), strengthen muscles, improve concentration, focus and memory, reduce stress.  And, obviously, improve stability and balance.  These last become more and more critical as we age and become more vulnerable to falls.

Ciwt chose the picture above to illustrate a kind of teaching that she finds repellant; or doesn't work for her.  Too strict, too overly confident, too suggestive that there is only one way (this particular teacher's) to do a pose.   This is Not true.  Every body is different for any number of reasons: physical, psychological, mental, life history, etc, etc. - you get the picture.  And every body is different every day.  You can start with a shape/pose in mind, and then proceed to see how it works for you that day.

In the case above, the model has strong feet, straight (not hyper-extended or bowed) knees, a flexible lower back and strong abs to support it. Oh, and she's young with a system that's still producing a goodly amount of elastin and collegen which keeps people flexible.

But maybe that's not you.  (It certainly isn't Ciwt). Maybe you would feel more secure and able to get into the pose if you touched your front hand to a wall; or maybe you would be more comfortable holding your leg instead of your foot, or bending the standing knee to protect your spine or knee. Or just going slightly into the pose like the first two yoginis here.
Image result for standing bow pose Or maybe the pose would work better if a strap was looped round your ankle so you didn't have to reach so far or bend your knee too dramatically. There are many options.   
The Main Thing in all poses, including standing balances, is Alignment.  You do not want to be pulling your body all over the place to approximate any pose.  So just stop when you start twisting/contorting around to grab this, and extend that. And your breath: When your jaw clenches and your breathing becomes strained, anxious or tense, you are stressed and forcing something.  These things are upsetting for your being, nothing yogic is accomplished and there is possibility of injury.

Again, like the seated poses, there are many standing balances, all of which provide the full array benefits, but different ones strengthen and lengthen different muscles.  The pictures below are all 'perfect' because those are the photos that are most appropriate for books, videos, personal promotion.

Image result for yoga standing balance poses Image result for yoga standing balance poses
Padagusthana times 2.  In sanskrit your big toe is your padagust, and can see both these yogis holding on to theirs as they balance.

Image result for yoga standing balance poses  Image result for yoga standing balance poses
Balancing Stick

Image result for yoga standing balance poses  Image result for yoga standing balance poses
Personal Variation                               Tree

Image result for yoga standing balance poses Image result for garudasana pose 
                                                                   garudasana (eagle)

Image result for yoga standing balance poses   And many more...........

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