October 9th, 2016 Strike a pose for the change
Ayurvedic medicine, a sister science to yoga, is steeped at it’s roots, of connection to the seasons and the world around us. Fall, to me, always feels like a more dramatic shift than other seasons, but a comforting one. A deep catharsis where you can feel great about staying inside all day, being quiet and a morning rain is welcomed with open arms.
Not only does Ayurveda tell us it is important to pay attention to the food we consume as the seasons shift, but our sleep patterns and body movements as well. For this reason, I picked a pose to practice for the month of October that helps with lung and vital organ purification, as well as rejuvenation for the spine. Getting a nice squeeze and a ringing out, might be just what the doctor ordered as we transition from full light, to more dark.
Ardha Matsyendrasana | Half Lord of the Fishes Pose:
A seated spinal twist, deemed as one of the most important of the Hatha yoga postures for it’s ability to stimulate the kundalini energy stored in the base of the spine. Something that might come in handy on a cold, rainy day. So if your feeling cranky in your body or soul, make your self a nice cup of ginger tea, take a seat, get twisted and breathe deep. And…come join us for yoga class Friday mornings as we explore this pose and it’s variations. @ Home Grown Fit.
Hindu mythology and lore is very fun, if you are interested in the philosophy of this pose, here is a good article: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/beginners/half-lord-of-the-fishes-pose/
How my movement practice and yoga has made me a better Mother.
When I move my body in ways that encourage me to breathe deeper, my ability to respond to life’s blessings and challenges in the present moment becomes more available. Breath awareness creates a tool for the mind to be in body time, which is always in present time. When caring for a small child, the need to be present is of the utmost importance, not only for reasons of safety, but so you don’t miss a thing when it comes to the sweet curiosity and awe experienced as they explore their new world. The ability to be present also creates for me, a greater ability to exhibit patience, and that is the essence of practice in my mind. Presence, leads to patience, is practice. Infants do not yet have the words to communicate their needs to us. This forces us to listen deeper in different ways, with intuition, and also much of the time, requires us to breathe deeper, exhaling frustration and inhaling waves of unconditional love.
My movement practices consists of long walks or hikes, high intensity interval training, and daily yoga, even if it is only for 2 minutes. You know what they say, a down dog a day! My son and I have created my once workout and meditation room, that is now his bedroom, into our sacred space. I have put down play-mats to cover half of the room directly in front of where I place my yoga mat. Since he was about three weeks old, he has watched me move in silly ways, listening to music, dancing and jumping. During this time he also participates in his own exercising and movement, having a space for belly down time, now rolling and soon crawling. We explore movement together as well. I incorporate him into some of the yoga and exercise movements I do, as well as giving him massage and we often lay on the floor to read or play with toys in this space. As long as his needs are met, this time creates contentment, exploration and laughter for both of us. Because this time gives me a sense of accomplishment, endorphins, and joy, it makes me a better Mother because I now have more energy, self-esteem and over all, more physical strength and flexibility to respond more efficiently to the ever changing activities it takes to care of my son.
I take great pride in my ability to get a movement practice in everyday and not have to leave the house or my baby. Don’t get me wrong, a yoga class at a studio with out interruption is awesome, but to have found a way to embrace my new life as a Mom and incorporate my movement practices into Emmet’s life, is a great sense of accomplishment. We make sacrifices as care takers, but with ingenuity and compromise, I don’t believe we have to give up what makes us happy. On the contrary, figuring out how to accomplish what fulfills us personally and leave the dishes for later, only benefits everyone. It is also a great influence and I know Emmet will become more curious about ways to move his body and hopefully it will become an important part in his life as he continues to grow.