Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another lesson from the mat

My yoga practice is has helped me in more ways than just physical. And even more than just the inner peace. There are a lot of metaphors in yoga that work in life and here is one that I am beginning to assimilate. I am a pretty inflexible in my muscles, especially hamstrings and legs. Stretching is important to my health because the strength and inflexibility in some of my muscles can throw me out of balance--as my lower back can attest. So I have always tried to stretch in a way that was ultimate--go until I feel resistance and then go until I feel more resistance. The harder I stretch, the looser I'll become, right? Recently, I've been taught another approach. Don't stretch to your limit. Stay just inside of it. Then stay with the stretch. Breathe into it and observe how your body relaxes naturally into the pose. This has worked wonders with hip stretches. I can see the uses of this practice in life. Sometimes I try soooo hard to make something work. Over-exert. Use up my energy stores trying to push a brick wall (which is what my hamstrings feel like at times). But if I back off a little, I can find that the impediment with loosen and give way. I am seeing how this can work with my writing, my relationships, parenting. While I have yet to put this to the test, I am really looking forward to seeing where I can go with this.

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