I feel compelled to write/share. Possibly it’s being stuck at home. Possibly it’s that the baby is now old enough where I have time to have aha moments. Each time I write it feels as though sneaking a message under the nose of my captors. We don’t have long.
Because of that, I’m just going to fire off these aha moments in the hopes that maybe they are useful or interesting to others and at very least help my own understanding of the given thing.
So, today. Heels.
No not heels 👠
I’ve been trying to get to a stable, consistent daily practice of internal energy and Ashtanga yoga. I’m up to the seated postures after not having a full practice for over a year. Building back little by little mainly guided by my stiff hip and how long the baby sleeps haha…
Anyway, since it’s been a while since I’d done a longer practice with all the postures, I have forgotten the sequence here and there so was reading Kino MacGregor’s The Power of Ashtanga Yoga as a guide. I came across the section where she introduces the standing postures and talks about the importance of the foot, it being our connection to the mat and the earth. And for whatever reason, this whole reread hit me much more profoundly.
To develop your awareness of the depth of forward bends, try to imagine that all the points along the backs of your legs, from your sit bones to your heels, are connected in one long line of energy. Thus, when you lift your sit bones away from your heels, the backs of your legs stretch easily. By planting your heels firmly on the ground, you create a healthy and supportive foundation for bending forward.
I’ve been taking that note about the heels and the energy line to heart and have tried incorporating it into my practice. Wow! What a huge difference not only for how much I was “working” in the sequence of postures but also with my hip too. It’s crazy how sometimes a little thing like that can crank up your practice.
Since I can’t go to class and get direction from a teacher (because of CV-19 and childcare), I appreciate when there is something I can refer to or be inspired by that helps me mine all I can from my limited practice.
Rereads are nice too because even when the author may or may not have intended a deeper understanding or nuance, you as the practitioner, based on your experience are seeing it fresh once again and able to take a point much deeper than it might have hit the first time.
My hip has been bothering me lately. Probably because I sleep on it too much, but it is what it is. The body is such a strange thing. And after giving birth it’s like, what are you? Who’s body is this?
Everything that I used to do regularly feels radically different (and yet the same) since having a baby. I suppose it’s a cliche to say and will ultimately make people switch me and/or my writing into a sort of mom genre or whatever when that’s not exactly how I see it. Classify as you will and ignore away. Ultimately I’m still reaching my most basic goal of understanding through writing.
This makes me think of the other day when I was in Quiet Standing practicing internal energy. My throat felt sore. No, not illness, ugh… no, the kind of feeling that comes before you cry. Like a lump in your throat, which I had once heard explained at least in this airy fairy kind of way as not being able to speak your truth. And I felt like, “hey, body/soul/psyche, I get it. But I also don’t want to feel the pressure of having to communicate verbally.” So I told myself, “I can communicate in other ways besides words.” And repeated that in my head until it didn’t distract me anymore.
Keep in mind! That that above description of my thought process while in QS is like totally wrong lol… you’re just supposed to keep lightly aware of your hands and feet, maybe one or two more points I suppose and then ride the energy wave. So #epicfail but I just figure, “hey, share what it really is for you because if nothing else maybe you’ll see a progression.”
I have no profound insight to offer. This is it. Just a mixing of an aha moment about the heels. Good stretch there. Try it!