Shigeko Yoga October Newsletter
Yoga, Nutrition, Life and Inspiration
Change Your Perception
One of the beautiful messages I continue to receive from my dear yoga therapy teacher is to not focus on the little problems. She always encourages me to look for all the good things happening in my students' movements and postures. It is such an eye opener because it’s easy to see what’s wrong first instead of what’s good. It almost feels like switching my own lens - from a micro lens to a wide angle lens. My eyes get softer and I begin to see more beauty and possibilities in movements and postures.
Every so often we get caught up in the small views in our practice and life. We get annoyed from falling out of the balance pose. We get bothered by little discomforts in our bodies when we do our very first down dog in class. We get upset when we have to stop at every single red light and that makes us late for yoga class. We get disappointed when a work/school project falls into pieces. We get sad when we burn the perfect pancakes (well, I finally started to use a timer for that…). It’s easy to just focus on one little problem directly in front of us. And these small situations can feel so BIG. Where is the bigger picture? Does it sound familiar?
Obviously, the big picture doesn’t come into the view if we live our life through a micro lens. The truth is, it’s hard to see possibilities through a micro lens. You might be missing out on all the other goodies because you’re so caught up with the details of what's wrong. You might feel everything is against you and not supporting you.
There is always another angle to take a look at. We can step back or adjust the internal lens. We can always try to see things differently. There is not only one way. There are many other ways.
'When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.'
- Susan Jenkins
How is your meditation practice? Do you meditate regularly? Or do you meditate on and off or not at all? That's okay, I'm not saying this to make you feel bad or judge you. But if you're trying to meditate or interested in a meditation practice, we all know...the first obstacle is to sit for a long time. Your lower back, your yoga butt, your knees starts talking to you after a few minutes, perhaps. Right?
So, it's beneficial for all of us to open up our hips and side bodies, and take care of your lower back (stretching and strengthening) before the meditation practice. Here is the gentle sequences that I create for everyone! Enjoy it :)
Lie down *If you need, create extra support for the head or knees
Leg stretch with strap
Internal and external rotation in your leg bones in the hip sockets
Figure 4 legs stretch
Cat and cow stretch
Downward facing dog
Triangle (both sides)
Wide leg forward fold
Supported bridge pose
Supine spinal twist
Corpse pose ~Savasana~
Pranayama (breath work - just simply notice your breath)
The traditional way to progress towards meditation is asana, pranayama, and meditation. Asana prepares the body for pranayama and pranayama prepares the mind for meditation.
If you'd like to dive deeper into meditation practice, please join my monthly 'Meditation and Therapeutic Yoga Night' next Friday, November 4th @ 5:30 - 6:45 PM at my studio. The rate is $15 and I will only take 5 students max. Pre-register is required. Please let me know if you're interested.
I'll see you on the mat!