I believe one of the many reasons people are attracted to yoga is because of its comparisons to our every day life.  In many ways, our bodies are going against reflexes when we're doing yoga.  When you stub your toe for example, there's instant surging pain, we usually tense all our muscles as we reach down for our hurt toe, and hold our breath until the pain subsides.  When our bodies aren't used to a particular posture or stretch in yoga, or when we find ourselves in a challenging asana (yoga posture), our muscles tighten and don't want to move as a way to protect itself from injury.  

Learning to breathe and let those muscles go a little to be able to release into the pose is a huge accomplishment.  Of course you're never pushing or straining into a posture, but listening to that innate intelligence within your body to see how far it will let you stretch.  Instead of holding your breath and tensing while you're in a pose, learn to breathe through the challenge and possible discomfort.  When certain life situations are challenging, bring those tools from the yoga studio into the everyday...learn to breathe through difficulty and adversity.

Many yoga lessons are applicable to life.  One of the lessons when it comes to balancing postures is that balance is not a state or place to arrive involves constant adjustment and attunement to the changing conditions of the moment, hence the oh so familiar wobbles we get in tree pose for example.  There is rarely a time in our lives where we can say, "well, I've made it."  We're constantly reacting and adjusting to the conditions around us and altering our path accordingly.  Whether it's in the studio or out in the world, pay attention to those transitions in and out of those 'postures.'  It's not just about that final perfected asana and what it's supposed to look like, or that final life goal you's about the journey right?

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Very enlightening. There's new research that shows that having good posture actually increases testosterone levels in both men and women, while poor posture increases stress hormones. I cant remember where I saw it but it made sense to me. Kind of like wagging the dogs tail to make him happy. Posture is more than just for looks. When I feel unbalanced energetically I purposely walk with my head held high and it always seems to make me feel better.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSpine Fitness Freak

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