Yoga is not a one size fits all! How could it be, your body is as individual as your DNA. There are a plethora of variables that go into how your body feels on any given day. Examples are, how did you sleep last night, are you getting over a cold, are you nursing an injury in your shoulder, have you not been eating well, are you going through something emotional, I could go on and on, but I’m hoping you get the picture. All these factors change daily and have relevance to what you can and cannot do on any given day . It is all of these things that help me determine what’s right for me on that day or helping a student understand.
We bring a lot of emotional thoughts to the table when we are exercising and stretching . Some people grew up thinking they were terrible at sports, or are not very coordinated, or not very flexible, or a great athelete and this has a bearing before we even start to move. Our relationship to pain is another important thing to consider or understand with movement . Ask the same 10 people to do the same exact move and one person will tell me it’s painful and someone else will say it feels great.
I believe that starting to tune in to these different ideas and thoughts we have first about our bodies, movement, pain, and flexibility are the first things to bring some clarity to and understanding. I know for myself I have a type A personality when it comes to movement, so for me slowing down, not pushing is an important part of my process. I also have a high tolerance for pain and I have learned that is another area I really need to pull back and slow down.
Next time you go to exercise or whatever movement you’re doing walking, swimming, yoga, notice how you feel, think about what you’re really feeling in your body and let that be your guide.
Of course great yoga teachers and other teachers & classes are a great way to help you learn these things. It’s not about finding some perfect yoga pose alignment, it’s about finding the right yoga pose alignment just for You!
I am a yoga teacher in NYC and love it
I saw the above saying and love it so, I want to share. I believe yoga has come to mean many different things to many different people, for me there are multiple layers of what it means. I have learned to understand many different feelings in my body and what they mean. I have learned that my bodies needs are unique to me and to do what’s right for me and me alone. I have learned to be more gentle with myself and that my body & mind are amazing creations. I have learned how to use this thing called yoga to assist in feeling great in my body. I have learned that I do not need to live with aches & pains throughout my body.
Come to your yoga mat to feel!! Feel if you get frustrated, feel if you get calm, feel if you can open up to whatever is in store for you, feel if you push to hard, or not hard enough. There are so many possible feelings, “I don’t like that pose, I’m no good at it, I love this, it feels great, I can never do this one, and on and on. Yoga is a practice everyday, over and over again. I don’t think there is some end goal or mastering everything. My body is always changing, aging, dealing with sickness, dealing with all my emotions and so how could it ever be the same day to day. In conjunction with my mind always thinking and put those things together to possibly understanding your own bodies feeling. Its mind and body, as the last time I checked they are connected. I know many people who when asked “what are you feeling in your body”, they don’t have a sense of those feelings. That’s ok, we all learn at our own pace and understand things when were ready. Maybe there is another question to ask yourself, other than what are you feeling. Another question, might be when your in a certain yoga pose, are there places in your body that you have a sensation, or, does one side feel different than the other, or are you getting frustrated? I think there are many different questions that can be asked. Sometimes I get on my yoga mat and the first thing I think is “I’m tired and would rather be still” and I start to move slowly and keep going and almost always that “tired” feeling is gone. Other times, I get on my mat and I feel achy or some of my specific issues ( left hip ) is not happy, so I honor those feelings and do things that might feel good for those areas. Sometimes I get on my mat and am ready to tear it up and I do! Each time I get on my mat, I think and then sense what my different body parts are feeling and allow that to be part of my guide for what I do. I try and notice what feelings come up as I move and I try to feel, what ever it is, I try to feel over and over again.
A back pain study and its findings. Not surprising to me, yoga is one of the things that works! There is no way around the time and work you have to put in, but if you’re willing to do the work the rewards are no pain! I know this first hand because when I do the work my body feels amazing and as soon as I start to slack off, I feel the aches start to creep back in. Those aches if not dealt with turn to bigger aches or full on pain. I don’t make the rules of the human body, but I know for sure that if I am willing to put in the time the rewards are amazing.
It seems like a no brainer to me, but so many people are still so confused about back pain and what to do. Please read the article and I promise to help you if your so inclined!