mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF body and spirit

spinal awarenessA Tiny Bit of Yoga

If you're thinking about taking a yoga class and you know you're out of shape, take it slow. Yoga doesn't make you jump around. The movement is quiet but intense. You'd be surprised at how much energy it takes to stay in one place.

Most of us women of a certain age have creaky spines and backaches that limit our flexibility. Back hurts — don't want to budge. But if it's just your basic osteoarthitis, it can — and should — be bossed around. You are only as old as your spine feels.

Gentle Preparation

Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your butt planted sqarely on a chair. Feel those 2 "sit bones" connect with the seat. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders back, so that the shoulder blades are flat against your back. Don't let your head jut forward.

As you take a deep breath in, relax your belly and feel your chest expand. Without looking up or down, feel your head float up to the sky. Feel the vertebrae in your spine separate from each other. Pull up.

As you exhale, keep your head high, but push the air out by tightening the muscles deep in your belly. Let your feet and buns press deeper down, while your head is still in the clouds.

Thoughts While Breathing and Stretching My Spine

Exhale. My feet and my butt root me to the world. They are warm. I think about all I have — the people who have stood behind me and protected and inspired me — the possessions that amuse and stimulate me and keep me working. Remembering these things helps me feel stable and secure. They ground me, calm me, and give me the energy to tackle the challenges ahead.

Inhale. My head lifts me to the sky. The crown stretches to touch the heavens. I'm standing on a hill, looking at the sky. It is cool and quiet. I can let all the old crap go. Now there is space for new ideas, new solutions. I'm free.

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