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Balance & Yoga – a Tidbit Post, # 8

19 Oct
Everyday Gratitude Vol 1

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Finding one gratitude each day, in the every day living of life.

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balance & yoga – a tidbit post, # 8

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Tidbitstidbits are, by definition, tiny bits*a google search indicates further elaboration -qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…*thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided, thank you much***

“balance is the effort to entertain our personal tilt without falling”

***

Article Outline

Happy Birthday to Me!

  • Being a Libra
  • Balance, Then
  • Balance, Now

Examples

  • Physical
  • Balance is a Living Act

Yogic Balance, Out in the World

My Favorite Moment of Balance

Final Thoughts

  • Prioritizing Balances
  • Back to Innocence

***

Happy Birthday to Me! ;-)

*

Adan at Table with Light from Window

Adan at Table with Light from Window

*

sheila captured this image with the light coming through the window at skinny pancake here in burlington

the decorative bottle must’ve brought us good light ;-)

*

it might seem silly to have an article with a title that includes both balance and yoga, and yet be a “tidbit” post ;-)

but this is my tidbit birthday gift to myself ;-)

today i crack into the 60’s!

i’m 61! today!! yay!!!

*

Being a Libra

i’ve always told myself my astrological sign didn’t “really” mean anything, and i long ago quit buying libra calendars and reading my daily horoscope in the paper

but the idea of libra, of balance, weighing pros and cons, desires and aversions -

that has remained with me, and lately, i’ve come to embrace it -

though, to tell the truth, more like an icky thick sweat shirt hug with hands not pressing anything to tightly ;-)

*

Balance, Then

ok, here’s the main course

since i can remember, before i’d heard about astrological signs, or even spoke english, and thought “libre” meant “free” rather than balance, i was always searching for the counter-weight to ideas -

this led to a running raucous dialog with my dad, who i realize now, entertained my endless questioning and back & forth arguments with a patience i just didn’t understand (but now quietly thank him for)

equality was a driving force in my feelings and thinking, i even searched out and read the constitution of the united states when i was about 12, but that immediately led to my literal application of my inherent right to happiness, and that didn’t sit too well, with either of my parents ;-)

*

Balance, Now

oh, i still like to argue sides, many a patient blogger has given me patient leeway in my thoughts -

but rather than feeling that “balance” is the equal positioning of the wheel in all directions, forward & backward plus side to side, so that it may roll without wobble, i now (recently) view balance differently

balance is now the counter effort thought activity feeling intent movement that allows me to maintain the “leaning” i’m more favoring at any given time

notice i’ve given myself lots of wiggle room to change my “leaning” and thus what and how i’d need to balance ;-)

*

Examples

Physical

if i’m gonna enjoy dancer’s pose, playfully, i still first have to find that day’s – “today’s” balance, which may mean i need to wear shoes, or use a chair, or hold a lower center of gravity, or stay stretched upward and leg-curled longer

so, if i’m using a chair with a one-hand balance at the back of the chair with one hand, and my free hand holding my free-hand-side foot, if i need to feel gravity, my weight, or a grounding, i’m not so much concerned with pulled my lifted left up or outward -

my “balance” that day is a sort of hunkering down, probably to regain or reset my physical balance (and maybe my mental or emotional balances too, depending what’s been going on)

then say i’m feeling playful, kinda light hearted anyways, and wanna play ;-) -

ok, now my balance is staying “hunkered” yet allowing myself to still be playful in this less stretched less reaching posture -

my emotional playful-need balancing has to counter-weight my gravity-grounding-need balancing

*

Balance is a Living Act

balance then is not simply a set ratio of extended and curled limbs, unresponsive to heart and mind urges for creative expression of being alive, and yet centered -

balance is the counter-weighting of multiple concerns that can vary day-to-day, morning to evening, year to year even

core and back may need more tensile input into the length and duration of the pose’s dance

mind and heart may have other needs – as may a child or significant other

balance is a living act -

in essence i must find, or discover, or allow to appear, that which will balance my intent -

did i want to stretch in dual directions and feel the sky touch the soil?

or did i want to feel my core fine tune my limbs like time touching a sunset?

so much is possible in dancer’s pose just balancing interests!

***

Yogic Balance, Out in the World

much has come up recently about what essentially is a question of how does one balance one’s life between personal and social good

yoga modern, via an intriguing article from carol horton, just this week, asked just, “has yoga created a culture of escape?” with a subtitle on the site’s opening page, of, “refuge and renewal vs. escape and denial.”

it’s especially intriguing to me, because i remember standing at the front doorway of the esoteric philosophy center in houston at the beginning of the 70s with the director, bill dimitri, the two of us watching a large group of hari krishnas chant on the large long front lawn (that i’d mow occasionally in exchange for being to attend meditation classes there) -

and i remember distinctly saying how those kids (folk my own age then of course ;-) ) were just escaping from having to think!

and bill smiled, waited a bit, and said, “they’re still just innocent…”

*

another look, but at those at the occupied zones helping bring up conversation about the balance of individual and social action, is nicely written by caryn mirriam-goldberg, poet laureate of kansas, in her article, “What Democracy Looks Like Today at Occupy Wall Street: Everyday Magic, Day 426“.

images and vignettes are given and the sense of the innocence and well-meaning of the people there seems authentic and real

my comment posted there is as i’ve voiced regularly recently, that some media attention to the historical perspective to the 60s and earlier movements, would help people see this is a continuing effort stretching back way before my time ;-)

and hopefully provide some buffer to probable inevitable backlash, which is natural, since nothing moves in a straight line, even light evidently ;-)

*

this is the same concern, i’d been voicing “back in the day”

and anyone with some historical and media grit, could probably point out the countless recurring times just since the last 1800s, that it was questioned as to whether yoga was inducing escapism

the split among the new world colonies in the 1600s, between those who were stringent believers in hard work and no play, vs those who thought a little time in the new world sun might do a body good, probably ended up in a similar “face off”

and didn’t the greeks sport a similar divide among themselves?  apollo and dionysus?

*

my point, regarding yogic balance, isn’t that the whole question of which type of potential escapism, social involvement or self involvement is “the” escapism, but rather that neither is -

yogic balance, for me, as i mentioned in the beginning, is the tilting of the scales of one’s activities, so as to maintain balanced enough to continue the main activity one wants to do

so, maybe, wanting quiet time to write or paint or sing or simply sit and watch the sun and clouds, alone or with a significant other, might require some approving of the tweaking of the tax code or how our elected representative “represent” us -

and yet, wanting to be intimately and intricately involved in the day to day operations of how people can get along, the law, might just as well in turn require reflection and a responsiveness to one’s internal needs

*

yogic balance, it seems, is as much a spiritual-mental-emotional act, as it is standing on one foot with the other curled behind and held by the hand not stretched out reaching for the not-so-low-hanging-fruit of inspiration

it’s hard to express, and maybe caryn’s ending words in her article noted above says it best,

“The rest of the world, just as I had left it, wasn’t configured the way of the occupation, so no wonder that the main criticism everyone has about this movement has to do with how little of it translates into clear soundbites. But then, that’s why there is an occupation in the first place: to be the change so many of us seek.”

and of course, being the change, can, and must be doable, well, anywhere…

eventually ;-)

***

My Favorite Moment of Balance

my mom had gone to the museum of fine arts in houston with sheila, my middle sister, and myself, to see an art show and give her a chance walk somewhere’s different

mom’s quite a walker

anyway, we’d seen the impressionist exhibit traveling through town, and were meandering among the renaissance work where i knew there’d be religious art she’s always enjoying standing in front of

we were in a particularly long room, the west side of an upper floor of the newer wing of the museum, and i noticed mom had stopped wandering from painting to painting, and settled herself, arms crossed, feet planted, in front of what looked like a last supper rendition

the painting was sebastiano ricci’s 1720 “last supper”

*

[ image not currently accessible to show, but may be seen on the mfa houston site ]

*

one by one, the three of us “younger folk” ;-) made our way to my mom’s side and peered to see what she saw so differently she was magnetized there

“you like that one, mom?”

“si”

sheila chimed in, “it’s beautiful isn’t it?”

then my sister, “a lot like the famous one”

“mira,” says my mom, “la mujer tiene ropa para limpiar”

i looked and looked and saw it, the woman to the left from our view, holding a laundry basket of wash, watching the goings on of the last supper

then my mom pointed to the plates of food, and added, in english, grinning and chuckling, “somebody has to do the cleaning”

*

we all have a part to play in making / creating / being creative change in our world

my quote from the end of my article i posted about this, “my mom at the museum,” shortly after her 84th birthday, still holds for me today,

“if yoga is, partially at least, the development of a balanced sense of the importance of all facets of our life, then my mom, devoutly catholic, has made that attribute her own

yoga, it seems, like oneness, as part of oneness, is like the air -

no one owns it, we all need it….”

***

Final Thoughts

Adan Lerma

Prioritizing Balances

i was intending to make a short video about dancers pose, to add to my just budding youtube channel of, for now, “playing around” videos

but have come up across several self-imposed deadlines :

finishing this article for my birthday -

finishing my 1st epublishing project, also for my birthday

creating a video would jeopardize one or both of the “finishings” ;-)

the video can wait, and be a looked-forward-to project for me, hopefully in the near future

choices have to be made -

and we do what we can that best balances what is needed, for us and for others

my mom knew this ;-)

*

Back to Innocence

and maybe the psychological point of balance, mine anyways, is when, somehow, through the balancing of the tilts and sways and seesaws, the “the effort to entertain our personal tilt without falling” as i put it at the beginning of this post, is finding and keeping a point of innocence

much as i concluded in my post on baseball and yoga

much as i saw in my child in “angel baby

much as i hope we retain each day

balanced-ly of course ;-)

namaste – con dios – god be with you


***

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Pyramiding in Yoga – a Tidbit Post, # 6

1 Aug
Everyday Gratitude Vol 1

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Pictured, “Everyday Gratitude Vol 1″

Small gratitudes found in the day to day living of daily life.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


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pyramiding in yoga – a tidbit post

# 6

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Tidbits

tidbits are, by definition, tiny bits

*

a google search indicates further elaboration -

qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -

“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…

*

thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)

if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided -

thank you much

***

Pyramiding

General Definition

Pyramid with Steeple

Pyramiding in Yoga - Photography Adan Lerma

sounds like a noun gone wild ;-)

so what is pyramiding?

well, a google search of “pyramid exercise definition” comes up with, as always, a wealth of possibilities to explore

a simple quick definition, from myfit.ca, appears on the search page itself :

“A pyramid is a load pattern where the load for an exercise starts low then gradually increases with each set”

and a reverse pyramid, as you can guess simply means the opposite, an exercise load starts high then slowly decreases in some pattern

so, what is load, and how is it changing in the pyramid sequence?

*

Load, Within the Pyramid

another google search, for exercise load definition, finds, from knowledge-storage.com :

“Physical exercise key parametres are its intensity, duration and frequency which together define volume of a training load. Each of these parametres plays an independent role in definition of training efficacy, their interrelation and mutual influence however are not less important”

key, to me, is that all three components, intensity duration and frequency, are evidently independent variables, yet “their interrelation and mutual influence however are not less important

typically, most people will think of either increasing, or decreasing, weight amounts, to increase or decrease load

*

Applying Concept of Portability

as per my post last week, “my tree (pose) needs prop(ping) – integrating yoga & fitness” i wrote of the concept of portability, which i had seen on ray long’s daily bandha site

Pyramid with Steeple

Pyramiding in Yoga - Photography, Adan Lerma

i spoke of how i thought i might could apply it across various ideas to help me understand, and use, the way i am able (and unable) to do tree pose, vrksasana

here, my idea is to simply show that the same process might be applied to both a yoga pose, and a sequence of pose movements

this is not new, dancers often apply this idea in developing choreography

what i do think is often missed, is the opportunity to, as in my tree-prop-pose post above, use that bit of knowledge to give ourselves credit for doing good for ourselves

in this case, with yoga, knowingly varying the triad of load factors, intensity duration or frequency, to increase or lessen the load i am experiencing doing a pose, or sequence of that pose, means :

* i can intentionally benefit from :

** needing to decrease my exertion level (for whatever reason)

** increase my exertion level to push my edge

* i can create a repeat sequence of a pose ahead of time

* i can create my forward pyramid or reverse pyramid on the fly (knowing i am adjusting myself, in the moment, in a manner that shifts me gradually into or out of the pose)

* know i benefit from either mode of pyramiding i do, forward or reverse

* can create my pyramid by :

** increasing or decreasing my intensity (degree of grounding, isometric focus, degree of “push” into the pose, or speed of the flow)

** altering the duration (time or number of breaths held)

** or changing frequency (the number of times i do the pose)

* i can create multiple sets, each with a pyramid within them, plus pyramid the set sequence itself

***

Pyramiding Possibilities in Yoga

Pyramid with Steeple

Pyramiding in Yoga - Photography Adan Lerma

Possible Applications

obviously, doing a pose, and holding that pose a varied amount of time, in a sequence of say, three, is one possibility

i could increase or decrease a physical component for downdog, adho mukha svanasana – such as the amount of time or number of breaths i hold downdog

i can also add or subtract :

* visualization in a pose

* a chant or audible during the pose

* props, in general, including the use of elastic bands

*

Actual Example

an example i’ve used, that pyramids visualization, within a pose movement, is in “opening a view of gratitude

the breath count was also extended, pyramided, during/within the pyramided visualization sequence

it was a fun sequence to do, and look forward to trying more of this in the future

***

Final Thoughts

though my example above, regarding opening a view of gratitude, has lots and lots of benefits, the benefit i can add today, as touched on earlier in the article, is knowingly applying the concept of pyramiding in my practice

the more i become aware of how and why i’m doing and benefiting from what i do in yoga or dance or meditation, or most any other activity of being human -

the more human i feel myself to be…

namaste – con dios – god be with you

***

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Touch Your Yoga Stretch With a Weight – A Tidbit Post # 4

30 Jun
Everyday Gratitude Vol 1

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***

Pictured, “Everyday Gratitude Vol 1″

Small gratitudes found in the day to day living of daily life.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


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touch your yoga stretch with a weight – a tidbit post

# 4

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Tidbits

tidbits are, by definition, tiny bits

*

google search indicates further elaboration -

qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -

“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…

*

thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)

if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided, thank you much

***

Intro

Touch a Stretch

Touch a Stretch

during a nice cool-down the end of our jazzercise class this week, one of those synergistic moments i sometimes get i’ve described in my yoga-to-dance aha moments, happened again, but this time, near the end, while we were stretching, thus, a tidbit ;-)

it may just be me, but i seem to be noticing more attention being made tying yoga and fitness

early this week, my wife and i received our hard copies of afaa’s july/august issue of “american fitness” magazine – it’s brimming over with fitness info of course, including an article titled, “teaching yoga in the fitness realm”

then the next day i see a wall post on gaiam’s facebook page for an article by sadie nardini, “10-minute yoga supersets: better than another hour of yoga

now i won’t get into a thing about whether a ten minute set of yoga is or isn’t better than another your of yoga, that’s such an individual-need thing, i can see liking both with no problem, just depending on my needs at the time (sadie herself suggests alternating the longer and shorter sessions)

what i do like, is this very strong tie of yoga into current fitness theory and practice

toss in the concept of the use of a ten minute block, which i use in my own yoga classes, and i really like this ;-)

footnote # 3 in my article regarding teaching limitations (a beginner’s view), references afaa, plus provides a couple of links for further info on the ten minute fitness concept; just scroll or jump down to the bottom of the article

*

A Weighted Stretch, as a Tool for Learning

so what struck me, as a really neat awareness-enhancing tool, during a supine full body stretch, is :

* when settled supine along the length of one’s mat, with arms still along each side, using

Touch a Stretch with Weights

Touch a Stretch with Weights

weights light for you, and with a rich inhale, slowly raise each arm up over-head, then bring them gently down above your head, resting once again on the floor

* let your motion and the earth’s pull gently join, giving you a greater awareness of your arms’ full body stretch

* once i felt the difference of the added weights’ pull, i released them, and used the now created memory to help me feel a fuller stretch

so simple, no wonder i’d never thought of it before ;-)

***

Cautionary Suggestions

if an uncomfortable twing or pain is felt, in the shoulders or chest or anywhere else in the body, i would either reduce the weight, or not try this procedure at all

i also wouldn’t cross either weight across my face, but rather follow a parallel line to my shoulders

as an alternative :

i could raise and lower my arms above my head with a lightly stretched elastic band

Touch a Stretch with an Elastic Band

Touch a Stretch with an Elastic Band

though the pull would be more lateral and away from the center of my body, rather than pulling up and lengthening, the new felt resistance still creates more awareness of my arms and shoulders in my stretch

this awakens my perception of my form more -

and further enhances my sense of connectedness

*

Final Thoughts

the use of weights, or an elastic band, are kinda fun, and mix things up a bit, but i enjoy them most as tools for being able to do more without them later!

it means using props, shouldn’t be something to be afraid to use; and should be enjoyed when needed or desired -

and whatever new sense of stretch i gain, is now mine in memory -

in the present ;-)

namaste – con dios – god be with you

***

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Wellness and Yoga, a Family Resemblance – a Tidbit Post, # 3

29 Jun
Everyday Gratitude Vol 1

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***

Pictured, “Everyday Gratitude Vol 1″

Small gratitudes found in the day to day living of daily life.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


Site Areas

Fitness ** Arts ** eBooks

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wellness and yoga, a family resemblance – a tidbit post

# 3

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***

Tidbits

tidbits are, by definition, tiny bits

*

google search indicates further elaboration -

qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -

“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…

*

thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)

if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided, thank you much

***

Intro

studying afaa’s personal trainer material, has some overlap with that for group fitness, and afaa’s starting point with the concept of wellness is a vital instance

Adan Lerma

Adan Lerma

i knew immediately, when sheila and i began our group fitness studies, that the idea of wellness as presented by afaa, appealed tremendously -

since then, nearly a year later, i can also see why yoga appeals the same way for me

yoga and wellness are, in starting premises, hard to pry apart

and i won’t try to do so ;-)

my tidbit today, is merely to show their commonality, which substantiates my feelings regarding the continuity of so much of human movement and fitness

***

Definition

afaa, in their personal trainer study material, defines wellness, in part, as :

“Many people associate wellness with fitness, nutrition, or stress reduction; but it is much more. It is the self-empowered practice of prevention and full development of all the dimensions of life. But remember, wellness is a process, a way of life; it is not a state that can be achieved once and for all.”

there’s much more of course, such as identifying components like physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual  [1] , but what a wealth just in that one paragraph above

i can see substituting “yoga” for wellness in that paragraph above

*

Concern

my concern, in feeling the similarity of wellness and yoga, is, how many people may or may not become embroiled in the question of whether wellness is simply yoga re-named for western consumption -

or if and how wellness, in today’s society, may or may not differ from yoga…

*

and my heartfelt sense is, for my purposes, any differences are like the differences between schools of thought in yoga, fitness, art, and even politics and peoples of the world :

the commonality is much more important

both in the short and long term

*

Commonality

my wife and i just (finally) got to see “mao’s last dancer” on dvd at home

yes, it was beautifully filmed, the main character was brought from childhood through the teen years to adulthood, and the political process of engagement between the u.s. and china was developed from the cold war to talkin’ to give and take -

plus, the love story (stories) and dancing were fleshed and flush -

but the scenes that took my heart, and mind, a rare combination accomplishment, was the thread that heard the fearful warnings of li’s family about the dangers of western influence and strangers “not like us” on their young child, echoed by taunts of “chink” and “but he’s chinese,” all lost in the merging of characters from each culture falling in love, despite all that

why?

because the only strangeness of the strangers, was the fear of the unknown

li’s family was like my own family, the same concerns for each other and need to survive…

*

yoga and wellness are sorta like that for me, the same concerns for each of us, and our need to survive -

in this case, as the best people and souls we can be…

*

Final Thought

the value of this for me is, yoga doesn’t need to fear wellness, nor wellness fear yoga

the two realms are vast families, much like each other

with characters like :

fitness, nutrition, choice, process, balance, integration, oneness, individuality…

namaste – con dios – god be with you

***

tidbit series

footnotes

[1]  as per John Travis, MD, MPH (2004) – this is a great bio on dr travis

his answers to the question, what is wellness? emphasis things like choice, process, balance, integration, and more

disclaimer: i am not an affiliate for any of the above links or services in this footnote


***

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Heart Openers with Elastic Bands – a Tidbit Post, # 2

14 Jun
Everyday Gratitude Vol 1

Click for Listing

***

Pictured, “Everyday Gratitude Vol 1″

Small gratitudes found in the day to day living of daily life.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


Site Areas

Fitness ** Arts ** eBooks

*

heart openers with elastic bands – a tidbit post

# 2

Tweet

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***

Tidbits

tidbits are, by definition, tiny bits

*

google search indicates further elaboration -

qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -

“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…

*

thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)

if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided -

thank you much

***

Elastic Bands and Yoga

Wait, What’s Elastic Bands Got to do with Yoga?

good question actually ;-)

*

Connections

it’s about connections

in this case, as in my article on gratitude and visualization during a hand-heart opening movement, using an elastic band expands our awareness of this gesture

whereas the article, “opening a view of gratitude” exercises connecting the hand-arm opening movement to feelings and images of things we enjoy and are glad for, the use of an elastic band aims for a kinetic connection for deeper awareness of the pull and stretch of our muscles during the movement

*

the idea is to provide a stronger and also “visible” resistance, the elastic band, that both mimics our muscular movement when we open our arms to our heart, and provides a colorful outward visual of what’s happening inside our body

though i’ve gotten a few of eric franklin’s books, because of our recent move preps and move, i’ve only gotten a chance to glance through them, yet feel his work is a very developed system of what i’m only sensing right now

further reading and research into his work seems promising and interesting

***

please note, if you are unsure if you should use an elastic band, please consult a medical professional

***

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Closed Starting Position

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Closed Starting Position

sheila took these shots a day or two before our final move

unseen, i hope ;-) are piles of boxes!

it should be obvious how tired we were, but pacing and attentiveness to reaching jittery limits, is part of why yoga’s awareness enhancing is important

my purpose in this picture is to show initiating intent for what i want to do: in this case, do some much need physical heart openers to stretch my pecs, while simultaneously visualizing our upcoming move as the positive for opportunities we have planned for

*

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Extended Arms Preparatory Position

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Extended Arms Preparatory Position

maintaining a soft but purposeful stance, through out my mind and body, i extend my arms firmly, yet not in a clenched way

i want to experience a relaxed strength and resolve, not a forcing or fearfulness

placing my arms before me, is like turning on the switch

*

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Arms Open to Set ROM-Band Position

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Arms Open to Set ROM-Band Position

this is an important step for me

i’ve extended my arms maintaining as much of my initial relaxed resolve as possible, while extending my arms against resistance

the elastic band’s, and my own natural range of motion set point, where the level of exertion reaches a natural stop, is important for me to recognize, and accept

recognition of this natural set point within myself, is easier to feel when joined to that of the elastic band; i’m allowing it to help inform myself of all this

at this point, if i were to feel undue pain, pinching, or sudden disruptive change of breathing, i should stop

if i feel some pain or pinching, and one or more deep full breaths allow me to dissolve that pain, without intentionally deluding myself, or if i feel fine, i then feel free to go to my final step in the actual stretch (beyond that, i can remain outstretched, and breathing into that stretch, if that’s an edge i’d like to play)

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Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Arms Extended Heart Open Position

Elastic Band Heart Opener Demo - Arms Extended Heart Open Position

without intending to, i think my rusty smile shows the stretch has done my mind, my heart, my body, some much needed good ;-)

much thanks to sheila for retaking the picture enough times to get my hands placed where i’d envisioned them, and for not letting me have to look like an old propellor plane banking hard into a ridge of clouds ;-)

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Kinetic Awareness of Self

Result

the end result for me, and for many in my classes that tried this, was to become more aware of the pectoral stretch and opening when the arms are extended and abducted

the elastic band resistance intensified the set point of awareness each of us experienced

more conscious breath was required

attention had to be paid to how much resistance to create via hand distance placement and still be able to fully open one’s arms without undue stress

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Awareness Retained and Applied Without a Band

when the heart opener-chest expansions were repeated, without elastic bands, in a new set moments later, the body memory was a blessing of the continuity of awareness

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Heart Opener Without Bands - Arms Extended Heart Open Position

Heart Opener Without Bands - Arms Extended Heart Open Position

btw, i cheated, and had sheila take this image now almost two weeks into our vermont move; our kitty cat pillows are out, but some canvases are still waiting for more bulldog hangers ;-)

so the dramatic change decor and background isn’t an instant magical transformation due to successfully switching from bands to no-bands…or was it? ;-)

ok, so maybe the magic just took a couple thousand miles and a sense of a new place taking shape ;-)

i did mention this is a process? yes, quite a process!

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the implications are numerous

asana learning can be given a deep sudden jump in awareness

folk with little or no memory of that type physical motion, can create an awareness

an awareness of one’s set extension, what our natural stretch point is, vs extension with external resistance, is more easily formed

a clearer sense of the distinctions, for one’s self, of what would constitute a strength vs an aerobic vs a stretch movement, is helped created

variety and options are introduced

and there’s more, but essentially, a continuity of awareness across a wider range of movement, of the same basic movement, seems to be created

it’s something i personally enjoy ;-)

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Suggestion

combine with visualization

again eric franklin has tweeted ideas, such as:

FranklinMethod Eric Franklin
Imagery has been proven in conjunction with physical practice, to be the fastest avenue to affect change on a cortical level.

as an artist, who’s felt the strength of connections between what i was painting, both the visualized idea and concrete painted canvas, and how i felt, i say: seems to make sense ;-)

namaste – con dios – god be with you

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Hand-Wrist Positions with Prop Work – a Tidbit Post, # 1

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Pictured, “10 Sports Lessons I Can Smile at Now”

Light humorous re-telling of a layman’s love and play at sports.

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hand-wrist positions with prop work – a tidbit post

# 1

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Tidbits

tidbits are, by definition, tiny bits

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a google search indicates further elaboration -

qualities such as “pleasing” and “choice” are mentioned -

“small” and “bite-sized” also come up…

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thus, this series of tidbits, of small bite-sized posts, are both my choice, and, hopefully, pleasing ;-)

if this tidbit comes from, or leads to, a much longer, more complex post, a link will be provided -

thank you much

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Hand – Wrist Using Props

using props is a natural go-to for me

i consider the use of props a natural extension of what i can do, often allowing me to develop my rom (range of motion) in a manner and to a degree i might not have so easily, or as quickly

a recent post, “teaching limitations = teaching awareness” elaborates on this idea

today, i want to present two instances of two ways i can use my hand-wrist position

depending on my needs or goals, i can either strengthen my wrists, or relieve the pressure on them

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The Idea

the same principle applies in both paired pictured examples, with the chair or the block

basically -

do i want to use my wrist to support my weight?

if you are unsure if you should, please consult a medical professional

whether using a chair for a lateral or fwd bend, i can extend my wrist to support my weight

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Wrist Extension with Props Examples

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Wrist Extension Using Chair as Prop

Wrist Extension Using Chair as Prop

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Wrist Extension Using Block & Pillow

Wrist Extension Using Block & Pillow

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the above hand-wrist positions, though they can strengthen my wrist, also can put more pressure than usual on them

also note :

1) the standing lateral bend, though minimal in this example, still pressures my wrist

2) likewise, the deeper reach toward the floor (the earth actually), though itself cushioned by both a soft block further softened by a small pillow, also pressures my wrist

there are days this is no problem for me, there are days it is, and i have to adjust my wrist-hand position

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Wrist – Hand Alignment with Props Examples

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Wrist-Hand Alignment on Chair

Wrist-Hand Alignment on Chair

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Hand-Wrist Alignment with Brick

Hand-Wrist Alignment with Brick

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notice, though i describe these two latter images as showing a hand-wrist alignment, both the hand and wrist are actually also aligned with the forearm

though my wrist is not being taxed, or strengthened as in the first two images, the increased degree of alignment is providing me with a great deal of structural bone support

and aligned bone support or stress seems to promote bone growth

please see yoga journal‘s may issue for the article “good to the bone” by catherine guthrie

an online article on yoga journal’s online site by the same name, but by linda sparrowe, appears to be similar though different enough i think both would be good to read

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whether a person is getting old(er), needs the use of props, or simply likes how props make you feel when you use them, i’ve found that learning to use props in different ways helps me become more aware of what i am experiencing during yoga

and gradually, it seems, as it’s often expressed in yoga, beyond the mat

namaste – con dios – god be with you

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