Friday, March 29, 2013

Foundation and breath

I've been meaning to write this for the better part of a week now.

I've been practicing Astanga style yoga for a little over 2 years, and since moving to Haines I have developed more of an at-home practice. There are regular yoga classes led here and they're great but I really enjoy the primary series so I've been trying to practice at home twice a week or more, as well as going to a led class once a week. It gets tricky sometimes because I've also started incorporating an ab and leg routine as well as some occasional running and balancing it all gets tough.

Anyway, in my Astanga practice I have been working on my jumping from the beginning and have recently been able to get all the way through, on a jump through to sitting. I could occasionally get it but I was never consistent, so I have been trying to figure out why that is.

My first "ah-ha" moment was my breath. I found that the times I was making it all the way through, my breath was full and the whole length of the movement. I wasn't making it through my arms onto my bum when I'd cut my breath short. I started to consciously think about my breath to make sure I was breathing the whole time and not holding it or cutting it short. That definitely helped but didn't make my jump throughs perfect every time.

My second "ah-ha" moment came pretty recently. It was my foundation. I found I wasn't really engaging my shoulders, and when I took the time to really engage my shoulders, and wrap my triceps it made the jump through so much easier. It also took a lot of strain off of my wrist. That is important since I tweaked it a little bit last summer during work and it is a little weaker now..With weight being constantly put on my wrist it begins to ache. Engaging my shoulders paired with a full breath has helped my jump throughs tremendously! They still aren't perfect every time but they're getting there, and will only improve with time.

It amazes me that such little adjustments can make a huge difference. That turning your focus inward can lead you to a solution that seems to come from out of the blue.

We've been having some beautiful weather up here and I have been itching to take some photos of yoga poses so I took a couple of myself yesterday, out on a large rock in the sun. This was a challenge in itself and next time I think I'll just have someone else take the pictures rather than using the timer on my camera or the remote :)