Dear Sweet Community:
Well, as some of you may know I am on crutches. On the sunday after Thanksgiving I was bouldering in Bishop, CA...when I fell. The falling part was expected, but my right heel missed the crashpad wish absorbs the fall and prevents injury. I fell somewhere around 11-13ft and broke my heel bone in several places. I had surgery on it and have been non-weight bearing since it happened. I have several screws and pins in my foot. I thought the struggle was the injury, but that was just the beginning... really.
The past month I have lost the ability to independently care for myself, to walk, to eat what I want, wear what I want and use my body. Breaking my heel bone has reflected back to me how much my independence has defined who I am. Independence, compassion and strength are all things I am familiar with and comfortable in. So the past month I have been vulnerable...very vulnerable. In my vulnerability, I am discovering the deeper virtues of relationship. Relationship requires vulnerability. We are all in relationship. The fact that we don't have any control, makes us vulnerable and exposed to one another. So I have been learning the true meaning of the word tolerance. The tolerance to feel vulnerable; being in pain in front of others, just being in pain by myself, needing the help of others, accepting the deep generosity of others (yes the capacity to tolerate what a huge experience all of your generosity is!!). Yoga, the meditation and deep spiritual practice, has guided me to open up to this opportunity. It has been one of the most rich times in my life. It's as if I have been given an invitation to participate in the true experience of living in relationship to the world. All I had to do was see it that way. Through meditation, I can see it that way.
So, I am accepting the invitations. I am devoted to this practice because it is also the deep practice of living as a human being; a fragile, imperfect, uncomfortable, emotionally messy, human being. I have learned over and over again this past month that as a human being I have very little control over anything. The only control I ever really have is my reactions; the emotional states I choose to attach to. And I know this practice keeps me open. Whatever obstacle is in your life, whatever obstacle is in your life, whatever you see as obstacle, look towards Ganesh- the placer and remover of obstacles. For this seemingly obstacle may be an invitation participate more fully, to grow a little more, and to be more...human.
Alignment Tip of The Week:
The past Friday we focused on locomotion in the body and the booty.
Hey do you ever pay your booty any mind? I mean really? You can't easily see it...do you remember it is there? Your booty is a very important part of locomotion in the body. The deep back-line propels us forward. It's like swinging a bat; we can't get a strong hit if we don't follow through on the entire swing. We can't take a step forward if the booty and the top of the hamstring are out to lunch.
To strengthen and turn on your booty, place weight in the heels. This awakens the deep back-line. Try lying on your back setting up for bridge pose but straighten your left leg on the earth. Press down through the right heel lifting your toes off of the ground. With the left leg straight do one leg bridges only allowing the left leg to lift to parallel height with the right knee. Remember to press down through the right heel so locomotion is happening from the right booty. Do ten of these and then switch sides. This will strengthen the booty.
Afterwards take figure four to stretch out the gluteneus and piriformis muscles.
In high lunge with the right foot forward, press down through the right heel and lift your right toes off of the ground. Roll both quadriceps inwards and lift through the pelvic floor. Bring your chest down only halfway to your quadricep with the spine straight. rock forward on the left toes so you can feel the back line turning on, stay here 5-10 breaths and then try rocking forward into Warrior III from this high lunge position. Notice that when the booty and top of the hamstring is working you can float forward with out stressing the outer hip. Try that same exercise but come all the way up to standing from warrior III with the left knee squeezing into your chest and find your way back to high lunge. Repeat the whole thing to the other side.
These are all exercises to move from the deep back-line. When we move from the backside, locomotion becomes controlled, grounded and effortless. Don't forget to propel from the backside instead of carrying from the front side. Your booty will thank you ;)
I look forward to seeing you all on the mat,