Monday, January 11, 2010

What Does Your Body Want?

Yesterday my friend Wanda asked me how I decide what poses to include each day when I practice yoga. I told her I usually pick a theme: backbends or forward bends, core, balance poses, arm balances, inversions, twists... With a theme in mind, it’s easier to select warm-up exercises that will loosen the part(s) of the body most involved in the practice. I can also adapt sun salutations to preview poses that will get deeper emphasis later in the session.

This is all true, but what I neglected to say is that often it doesn’t turn out that way. Sometimes, I’ve got a killer (good kind of killer) sequence in mind for, say, hip openers. I sit on the mat, close my eyes, get quiet. And something entirely different begins to happen.

Mind: Mmmm. Hip openers, my favorite. Here we go.

Body: Not so sure about that today.

Mind: Huh?

Body: Feeling kind of low-energy. How about backbends?

Mind: But—

Body: Trust me. Backbends.

Mind: But I—

Body: Shhhh. Don’t think, breathe.

Mind: Okay. Fine. Then what?

Body: Follow my lead.

Spirit: Bingo. Let the yoga begin.

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