I needed a plan to work toward my goals to Extend and Connect Every Day.
As I always do, I started with the physical. I have some ideas of my own for modifications of poses that will help me progress to wheel (backbend), but I like to see what the yoga community thinks so I googled "progressing wheel pose yoga" and got several hits. Most offered step-by-step corrections to the full pose or other poses that are like wheel pose, such as: reclined hero, upward bow, and camel. But my problem is that all these poses are too hard. I can’t even begin to get into reclined hero! I needed to really break down wheel and work on the components for each region of the body. I also needed body weight support so I got my tools ready:
- large therapeutic ball
- foam roller
- my usual props: bolster, blocks and strap
- yoga wall
I will be sharing how to use these props to "open up" into extension. I’m excited to see how this will open me up to new realizations, new opportunities, and new possibilities.
Tools: Books and maybe Counseling
I am about mid-way through Brene Brown's book: Gifts of Imperfection and I hope to work through the other 2: Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. I have loved her TED Talks on Empathy and Vulnerability. Gifts of Imperfection seems to be on the right track as far as "opening up" as the title states it is "your guide to a wholehearted life". I believe that we assume a flexed posture not only because of our positions throughout the day, but because we are protecting our hearts. As we draw our shoulders inward and cave in our chest we close in around the heart. I am convinced that this is the physical manifestation of closing down rather than opening up. It is more risky to open up and live the life you are supposed to live. It is hard work to determine what that life is. It's easier to live how others expect.
As far as counseling, it has been a tough year with the loss of my Mom. As my son describes it: "my heart is empty". He has said this several times and at first I didn't get what he meant. But I think the loss has lead to having less emotional resiliency. I am frequently on the edge of crying. I need strategies to think about and honor my Mom but also build up my emotional resiliency.
Tools: Meditation and More Books!
I ended 2016 reading You Are Here by Thich Naht Hahn, How to Meditate by Pema Chodren, and Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra. All of them contain good lessons on how to integrate the practices of meditation and yoga into daily life. These books make me want to go back to the New Testament and read more about the life and teachings of Jesus. I want to honor the religion of my upbringing while exploring other teachings of spirituality. I think the deficiency of my religious upbringing was understanding the difference between spirituality and religion. So I will be reading more by these authors and could use recommendations.
If you have goals, you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be rigid. You can allow for tangents if your interest moves you in a different direction. But I find getting organized around my plan is the best way to succeed.