In one of my recent instagram posts on arm balances, someone commented that at 52 they had kind of given up on conquering arm balances and complex yoga poses. For those wanting to pursue these, please know that despite a lifetime of fitness, dance and yoga (yoga came in and out of my life at different times), to name a few, I did not accomplish my first crow pose until I was 51. And it did NOT look like this.
I’m turning 56 in a couple of weeks and I have a goal by 60. It is to do a “floating handstand” away from the wall. I am able to get on my hands and flip myself upside down (see photos) and get some “hang time.” Note the wall behind me in two photos, in case I fall back (I sometimes do). My goal is to get up there mostly with my core strength and hold it for a while and be able to play around with the position of my legs.
From the outside, an asana yoga flow and a mat-based Pilates workout may look similar. So, what is actually different between them? I’m sure you will get a variety of answers depending on whom you ask.
Yoga is not about the poses, and even less so about complex pretzel twists or crazy circus-like antics. That said, I´m a sucker for an arm balance. You see, every time I pull off one of these, I feel like a freaking goddess. I really do. I feel strong, and powerful, and happy, and joyful, and free! Because, heck, why shouldn’t I? It took me a lifetime to get to this point of self-love and empowerment inside and out, and I´m sure as hell going to enjoy it.
¿Estás estresado pero no crees ser capaz de meditar? ¡Yo pensaba lo mismo! Siempre he sido una persona muy activa. Corredora, bailarina, nadadora. Me encantaba estar EN MOVIMIENTO todo el tiempo. También me encantaba dormir la siesta… ¡y aún lo hago! ¡Shhh!
Pero antes, simplemente NO podía quedarme sentada y meditar.
The first time I saw photos of people doing restorative yoga on bolsters I thought, “what a waste of time.” I was sooo wrong. Now that I’ve experienced the benefits for almost four years and am certified to teach restorative, I’m a big fan.
Do you use mudras during your yoga or meditation practice or even when you’re going about your day? Mudras are hand gestures or hand positions that have the purpose of channeling the body’s energy flow in a certain way.
This particular mudra – Gyan mudra – is one of the most widely used. The thumb and the index finger are touching lightly, making a circle, and the other fingers are straight.
Did you know that “asana” as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali literally means “seat”? So asana, in the early days, was the part of yoga practice (see my previous post on the eight limbs of yoga) which basically involved sitting to meditate, often for hours.
Asana yoga poses as we know them now evolved as a way to make the body limber enough and the mind focused enough to – once again – be able to sit in a crossed-legged position (easy pose, half lotus or lotus) to meditate for extended periods of time without feeling aches and pains or restlessness.
Of the 8 limbs of yoga outlined in Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras, the first two attract me the most. These are the Yamas and Niyamas, which I read about over and over and try to embody. It´s not easy, but it´s not impossible. It takes practice though.
The Yamas and Niyamas are the foundation for a way of life that enables us to assume responsibility for our lives, all of our lives, past, present and future.