“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go…”
Last month, we reflected on the achievements of the year–which goals were met, and which ones were not. As we move fully into the Fall season, we shift our attention now to the process of letting go. What outworn, or old patterns, of behavior are holding you back? Are there habits that keep you stuck circling in these old patterns? What are the physical things associated with these patterns? And, what can you do differently?
Fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of the discomfort that often accompanies change. This four letter word quite often keeps us stuck in our old patterns! It shuts us down and keeps us from seeing possibilities. This month, to counter some of our natural (and very normal) fear responses we will play! We will play with the edges of our comfort zones, and strengthen our willingness to break patterns of habit. Then, we will rest, and let go.
See you on the mat!
P.S. Here is a short clip of a plank variation (using a “yoga wheel” prop) that is excellent for strengthening the abdominals (a.k.a., your “power” center). Make sure to place your hands shoulder-width apart; stabilize your shoulder joints by drawing the scapula (your shoulder blades) down onto the back ribs; and, engage your abdominals by drawing your navel in and up towards your spine. Keep your legs long and lifted, moving the thigh bones away from the floor by contracting your quads (top thigh muscles). Working with your breath, exhale as you roll the wheel in, inhale as you roll back out. Repeat 1-8X, as you build strength and coordination.
Stretching the chest is essential for most of us! These five are great variations. I also would add a sixth restorative variation: Supine over a yoga bolster or a rolled blanket. Place the bolster behind you on the floor, with your hips on the floor and touching the end of the bolster. Lay back along the length of the bolster. Your head should be supported on the bolster, or with an additional pillow or folded blanket. Your legs can be straight on the floor, or bent with the bottoms of your feet together and knees apart on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor at about shoulder high, or slightly lower, palms up. Stay for 2-3 minutes, breathing comfortably.