I just returned from celebrating my grandfather’s 90th birthday in Missouri. The state is filled with beautiful open spaces, with green rolling hills for as far as the eye can see. It is also, unfortunately, filled with many creatures that have yet to figure out that the highways are not the best place to be. Poor road kill =( Almost makes me glad to live in a city that is devoid of animals other than in the teeny tiny parks. Traveling is a perfect time to practice patience and breathing exercises, as the airlines now seem to be professionals at delays and mishaps. My Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls made the trek as well, and unfortunately my classic pair, that I have been using for the last three years, was left on a plane somewhere between LAX and Kansas City. Hopefully whoever picked them up will realize their magic and use them. But thankfully, I always travel with multiple sizes, and had a pair of Therapy Ball Pluses and the Alpha Ball to tie me over. Looking for something to do during a layover? Why not get rid of tension in the airport? I may have received some weird looks, but I was too deeply relaxed to even notice.
I also recently completed a three day Yoga Tune Up Shoulders Immersion with Jill Miller. In addition to reigniting my spark for my personal practice, the immersion also inspired me to think of the shoulders, and every other joint in the body, from every conceivable angle when building my practice or classes. The final day of the immersion was preparation for handstand, which for me meant I was practicing it in the center of the room. It is scary and challenging, and yet a pose I had written off for myself. Jill inspired us all to just go for it, and so I tried! I did get up in a freestanding handstand today for about 1.5 seconds, but just as I realized I had nailed it, I then lost my balance. That is what life is all about, isn’t it? Trying new things and being open to failing, so that you can try again?
In the immersion we also talked about sleeping position, and how your passive positioning during the evening can impact your shoulders. Just as I stress posture during the day, the same goes for at night, especially when you may be in the same position for a few hours, depending on how you sleep. The most important thing is to put yourself in a good position, so that your shoulders are not hiked up you your ears. How to achieve this? Have a pillow that fits perfectly between your shoulder and your ear so that you can’t collapse onto your shoulder (if you’re a side sleeper) or hike your shoulder up to your ear. Then put a pillow (or towel roll) between your legs and one in front of you to hug to keep all of your joints stacked and aligned while you drift off to dream land. (As I write this…I’m starting to think a new video may be in order for how to get into a good sleeping position!) I just ordered a buckwheat pillow that I am anxiously awaiting in the mail. Buckwheat allows air to circulate through the pillow so it stays your body temperature, regardless of the room temperature. If you sleep on your back, support the back of the neck just enough so that the head remains in line with the shoulders, and have something for underneath your knees. This helps to keep the psoas from returning to its normally shortened position while you sleep (it’s not supposed to be short, but passively shortens because we sit so much).
Ella and I have also begun agility classes. She’s pretty good at it and I am so proud of how quickly she is picking up the obstacles! Maybe some competitions will be in our future?? We will squeeze this in between all of the classes, workshops, therapizing, and the works. Oy Vey!
So that’s my last month in a nutshell, what are you all up to? Anything cool to share?