Friday, February 17, 2017

A "Golden" Opportunity

Who knew a "golden" opportunity was right around the corner? Actually we did, we just didn't know what it would be. One never knows how or when the universe will bestow its blessings, however it's always a good idea to be open to the infinite possibilities that await. 

Lydia the owner of "Gold's Gym" here in our humble little city was looking for a yoga teacher and we were open to the possibility. A dark and gloomy back room at the gym got a stunning new look; a soft coat of paint created a comfortable background and a funky light fixture in the corner set the mood. We brought in a sweet sun&moon tapestry and tada... the perfect bohemian space to share and experience a bit of rhapsody!

We like to practice a sequence for a month at time which allows students to become familiar with the poses and notice changes that occur. This month we decided to focus on foundations, specifically the feet and the seat. The feet and the seat give us stability, steadiness and security in our postures. Our story for the sequence; I am the mountain. Stable, steady, and secure. 

Our foundation is our connection to the earth. How our feet and seat are secured in our postures gives us stability. Surrendering to gravity our base becomes balanced and stable. This leads to lightness in the upper body, the spine lengthens and the head lifts high towards the sky. This lofty peak is where wisdom resides.  

Standing mountain pose and sitting mountain pose are the foundation poses in yoga. We prepare for and end our practice either sitting or standing and come back to mountain again and again. These poses give us a moment to be still. They invite us to return to our center; stable, steady and secure. Mountain is a powerful pose that has a potent effect on the body and mind.

These simple postures begin our journey to balance, strength, and flexibility. They improve posture allowing us to breathe easier. They may appear to be nothing more than standing or sitting but from them arises steadiness. 

In yoga we build our poses from the ground up. Attention to the foundation affects how tall your mountain will be.  Once our foundation is secure an in-breath lengthens the spine. We actually grow taller, the joints and discs decompress relieving pressure. 

Mountain pose is often considered a beginner pose, when in fact there is a lot going on. It incorporates many joints and muscle groups. When standing the ears are over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees and ankles. The body is vertically aligned supporting the natural curves of a healthy spine. Perfect posture they say...essential for overall health and well being. 

Be the mountain, stable, steady and secure.  

Standing Mountain Pose 

Stand with the feet together, arms by your sides, press your feet into the ground, lift your arches, ankles and knees, engage your thighs, tilt the pelvis ever so slightly pulling in the belly, your head, neck and spine should be in a straight line. Chin level. The gaze soft. 

Sitting Mountain Pose

Sit up tall and come into any crossed leg position. Sit on a folded blanket if your hips are tight. Press your seat into the ground. Balance your weight evenly across your sit bones. Align the head, neck and spine and allow the upper body to lift tall.

Chair variation: feet flat on the floor, knees over ankles to come into alignment.

Mahalo, we serve.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dreaming the Impossible Dream

After a brief but too long separation, "We're back!" For several years our library careers took us down many different paths. We are grateful for the opportunities that were presented to us, we learned so much personally and professionally. Our passion for literacy lead us toward a storytelling precipice and along the way we stumbled upon yoga, where we are discovering balance and harmony. 

With endings come new beginnings, and these former librarians are choosing to Dream the Impossible Dream in 2017 as we come to realize that nothing is impossible. We'll be excavating and bringing to light buried treasure. Yes, of course it involves yoga and story. May riches flow from our lives to yours!

We hope you will join us from time to time on this yoga storytelling adventure.

Mahalo, we serve.