There’s a quote in the book Bad Dog! by Lin Jensen that I try to come back to when I feel I’ve lost direction and an inner compass, “If we are true to the steps we take, the travel makes sense and the journey confirms itself.” In essence, if we are putting one proverbial foot in front of the other from a place of integrity, the journey unfolds before us and becomes less of an effort born of suffering.
So often, we are just “going through the motions” with little recognition of what got us to the present state or why we’re continuing on a given path.
Let’s go back to the dog theme. Have you ever known a dog to lie or put on a facade? No. Dogs are brutally honest in their demeanor and actions. Hungry? Eat. Happy? Wag tail. Threatened? Bite. Nowhere does the dog engage in the inner struggle of what they should do vs. what they want or need to do.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you live selfishly without regard to how your actions impact others, but if you start to trust your gut and become aware of your truth at the core, your perceptions shifts which may even change your path. In either case, the struggle and suffering begin to wane. Continue reading →
If you have read any of my other posts, or know me at all, you know that Matsyasana (Fish) is my favorite asana. For me, fish heals a multitude of ills. In fact, many ancient texts refer to Matsyasana as “destroyer of all diseases.” Whether active or supported, this pose relieves stiffness and tension in your neck and back.
This backbend pose also stretches the muscles in your groin (psoas), abdominals, and chest (intercostals), provides an opening at the heart and throat chakras, and stimulates the thyroid.
For those of us who spend most of our day hunched over a desk at work, or round our shoulders over a mobile device while engaged in a battle of wits playing “Words with Friends,” matsyasana helps correct our oft horrendous posture.
In my favorite variation of the active pose, I instruct my students to lie on their backs with their arms tucked closely by their sides, and roll their shoulders back and chest open. Then I have them place their wrists directly under their sit bones. This little adjustment can bring tremendous relief for carpal tunnel sufferers. On an inhale, press into the hands and forearms, draw the shoulder blades (scapula) together and down the back, and bring the torso and head off of the floor. Then, gently, place the head down on the mat leaving a nice arch in the back and open chest. To protect the neck, there’s very little weigh on the head. Continue reading →