20140730 Yogi Time Lapse

I've been doing puppy dog pose regularly as well as hero pose.  The reason is that my thoracic spine and knees are two areas that could use good bit of improvement.  Some interesting changes have resulted in my body over the past several days.  

My sternum is no stranger to popping and becoming open with a good back bend first thing in the morning.  This morning, though, it was caught in a weird place.  My higher up.  After some light floor stretching, I stood up, took a back bend and it popped back open.  It felt less like the sternum was stuck and more like the intercostal muscles at the top of the rib cage.  One way or the other, I lengthened then settled back into an only muscle pattern during sleep but the new feeling of tightness and release just serves to indicate that change is indeed occurring daily.

As for my knees, there has been significantly less popping in my "trick knee" - my left knee.  My gait and alignment have been off since I was a kid and I have sustained multiple ankle injuries in both ankles so its no wonder my knees make clicks and pops.  Over time my right knee has stopped all the noise but the lateral ligaments in my left knee have been worrying me lately.  Hero pose seems to have helped greatly though.  In the last few days my "trick knee" has fallen silent. Additionally, the peroneus muslces along the outside calf on both of my legs are feeling very stretched.  Again, my calves have been brutally tight after years of sports, sport-related injury and not stretching.  Good things are afoot (or knee or calf).

20140729 Yogi Time Lapse

This time lapse is one part Ashtanga through the floor series (Marichyasana A), one part targeting my weaknesses (knees and shoulders) and one part meditation. This location is The Peace Practice on Memorial Avenue.

New Feature - The Yogi Time Lapse

I find myself in the position of being on too tight of a budget to other studios in the area more than once or twice a month.  Luckily, technology exists and can provide cheaper and free alternatives.  Here's what I've done - I take online classes once or twice a week if I am too mentally exhausted to be spontaneously creative. Once or twice a week I audio record the classes that I teach and then listen to/do my own class.  That is a great way to quality check my ability to guide a person through a practice and humbling when I mess up.  

Online and audio yoga is great but how do I know that my alignment is correct?  I record myself. When I do my own classes I do a full-length HD video. I have three currently and when I have a few more I will  post them to Vimeo where you can purchase them.  Look for that option in August.

When I flow spontaneously for the pure joy of moving and yoga I do time lapses and post those to Vimeo, too.  Again, I can review my poses and see where I need to make adjustments. Plus, who doesn't need accountability from time to time?  There are times that I don't feel like doing yoga.  Thankfully, I have just enough discipline to sit my booty on my mat and do something.  As the meme goes, "I really regret going to yoga...said no one ever."

Here are three of my yogi time lapses from the last few days:

Not every day of yoga (in my life) looks the same.  Sometimes all I have in me is 30 minutes and some meditation and sometimes I yoga for almost two hours.  I let my body tell me what it needs and try not to force myself into anything based on preconceived notions of achievement or comparison. You may be wondering where 20140726 yogi time lapse is.  Well, sometimes I do yoga on a floating dock in the middle of a lake and its just not safe to try to set up my video equipment.  Pics or it didn't happen ;-)

The Part-time Job Times: Lessons Learned

The Part-time Job Times: Lessons Learned

I always knew I wasn't cut out for the legal realm but leaving my job as the researcher for a prestigious firm has created moments of intense learning.

Yoga EveryDamnWhere

I am far from mastery in anything but the only way to get there is to keep on practicing. There are two concepts behind my training that I learned in psychology and through training dogs. 

1. Repeatability - being able to nail a pose or movement X number of times in a row to demonstrate learning.  

2. Generalizability - can the pose or movement translate to another context?

On a pose by pose or movement by movement level, I use these two tools to gauge my mastery. This is also true of my practice overall. Today's poses to practice repeatedly were forearm scorpion prep, warrior 3, and handstand practice. Foster Addington has attained a certain level of mastery in his shoulder stand so he is shown here playing with a wide-angle variation. Today's generalization of yoga was tennis - a sport that requires yogic hip and shoulder positions. Hope you're out enjoying Memorial Day and finding ways to incorporate yoga.