We often complain or criticize our bodies when in fact our bodies are amazing creations. Your body produces 25 million new cells each second. Every 13 seconds, you produce more cells than there are people in the United States. If you stretched out the 300,000,000 capillaries in your lungs end to end, the line would extend from Seattle to San Diego or about 1,300 miles. With the 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside the average human body, you could circumnavigate earth two and a half times. Our muscles are actually incredibly more powerful than they appear to be. Human strength is limited to protect our tendons and muscles from harming themselves. This limitation can be removed during an adrenaline rush, during which some people have lifted boulders or even cars off themselves.
"I am in awe of my body." - Henry David Thoreau
Your relationships with other people through out your lifetime - with your parents, spouses, children, friends, and teachers - will shift as time passes and situations change. As long as you are alive, however your body is always with you. You body is designed to guide you, keep you safe, and bring you full vitality. It has seen you through love and loss, pleasure and pain, challenge and growth. It is the vehicle through which you create and manifest your thoughts and dreams into reality. Your body deserves to be appreciated for every experience it has given you, and every way it has supported you.
Our story this month is "I appreciate my body." We encourage you to ask, "How do I feel?" rather than "How do I look?" when practicing yoga.
Give these two Warrior poses a try, they are a gift to your body.
Warrior I: from mountain pose, take a big step back with the left foot; turn the back foot to a 45 degree angle. Square the shoulders and hips to the front of the mat. Inhale and lift the arms overhead, lengthening the spine. Soften the shoulders down. Exhale and bend the right knee. Make sure your knee is directly over your ankle not in front of the ankle; you should be able to see your toes. Come out of the pose by lowering the arms and straightening the front leg. Step back up into mountain and repeat on the opposite side.
Warrior II: from mountain pose, step back with the left foot. Turn your back foot to a 90 degree angle by picking up the toes and pivoting on the heel. The shoulders and hips are square to the side of the mat. Inhale and lift the arms to shoulder height lengthening the spine, palms facing down reach out through the fingertips, exhale and bend the right knee, knee over the ankle. Gaze out over the fingertips of the right hand. Come out of the pose by lowering the arms and straightening the front leg. Step back up into mountain and repeat on the opposite side.