Everyday Poser–Baby Yoga

Today I had four requests for Mommy and Me Yoga classes. Maybe it was a coincidence–I’m leaning more toward a group of friends all had an idea. Great! But I don’t have classes like that. I’m happy to offer a special class–but I can tell you in just a few words what I would mainly teach parents of infants: take that baby out of the bucket!

Babies are natural yogis if they are left to their own exploration of how their bodies move. Car seats are designed for safety upon impact, but these carriers are horrible, not only for your child’s postural development, but your own as well:

 

 

It is just so much easier to carry a baby my friends! And really, the position that your baby is in while being strapped into a carrier is soooo not ideal–not for their natural movements and not for their bone or muscular strength development due to the unnatural shift in load bearing. And I could go on–but these are short posts! So here is just a little bit more: hold your baby close to you. Lay them on their tummy, lay them on their back. Let them start to roll around. Trust your child to learn how to move naturally and watch them become an #everydayposer!!

Everyday Poser–Elbows off the table!!!

 

Everybody has said it, thought it, or had it yelled at them sometime. Why is it such a big deal?

The distance from the heart to the head is why. There is a reason why deep conversations are called “heart to hearts” and an argument is referred to as a “head to head.” The person in this photo is obviously bored. Her heart isn’t into the lovely meal, the company at the table, not even the wine! When we lean on our elbows, the anatomical action is a collapsing of the chest and the heart (along with the support structure of the spine and ribs) moves away from the head. The head is heavy. When it is place in a forward position, tension begins to rise in the occipital joint (head/neck connection) as well as in the jaw. Distant heart, heaviness, and tension do not lead to happy meals. Even if there is a toy.

Open your heart this Thanksgiving and sit tall. Become an #everydayposer and bring yoga to the table!

Stuck Up! (October is National Anti Bullying Month–be nice to yourself, as well)

middle school trauma

We’ve heard it along the great halls of high school: she is sooo stuck up! Which meant sort of snobby and too good to talk to you. They closed their minds to your presence. Thankfully, I don’t use that phrase to describe people anymore. I know several people who might seem that way and don’t really take time to be my BFF. But now, in my more mature outlook, I just describe them as busy, or not having a lot in common with me. Which is totally okay. I get over it and try to be over some of the traumatic imprint of  school as well.

But, I do know many people who I would occasionally describe as stuck, myself included. Once, my best friend and I had to go and get my daughter from school. She got sick in the middle of the day. I was stuck at home with a newborn and no car. My BFF Anne came over in her car and drove while I sat in the back seat holding the baby (her children no longer needed car seats). When we got to the school, Anne got out, hopped in the back and took the baby. I reached for the door. It was child-proofed, as was her side (her children WERE the age that needed that safety precaution). We were stuck. One of us was going to have to haul our butt up over the seat and open the front door to get out of the car. It actually was hilarious, but we weren’t sure about telling anyone EVER that we had locked ourselves INSIDE a car.

We did tell our husbands. The first thing one of them said was, “why didn’t you just roll down the window and reach through to open the back door?” Smart*$$. I felt like becoming very stuck up at that moment. We had not only gotten stuck in the car, we also had been stuck in thinking the only way out was to use the door handle on the inside of the car, because that was how it is done, right? Like being stuck up, usually we are stuck because of our perceptions of what is possible.

Discovery and friendship are valuable on the path of life. I am blessed with friends like Anne that are caring and helpful. I also have always considered myself a lifelong learner, and not strictly in the academic sense. I do love reading and looking up information and just knowing stuff, but more than that, I love the feeling of true discovery, like when I am in a new city and I take the day and just walk all over. It isn’t learning, exactly, it is more like adventure. It unsticks me. Usually I have expectations of what I would like to experience, but I always discover something unexpected and wonderful by opening myself up to a new place, perspective, and possibilities.

When I am not a world traveler, which is most of the time, I try to apply that same sensibility to my life. Sometimes I can get stuck in a car or in high school-ish events that create drama without any adventure or discovery. Changing my perspective gets me past the drama and over the trauma of life. It can open up a world of life long learning without leaving the comfort of my home (or car. Although crawling over that seat did bring back some sense of youthful adventure!).

I just learned, for example, that my pelvis is sort of rotated to the left. Knowing this isn’t any great accomplishment–in fact I could with confidence say that nearly everyone’s pelvis has some degree of lateral rotation. It does explain why I feel stuck in certain yoga poses, however. But that isn’t a big discovery, either, since I have always known that certain poses were difficult for my right hip. I figured it was the “stickiness” of getting older. And in a sense, that is true. Generally these imbalances are results of trauma from living our day to day lives. But now, how to get unstuck?

Perfect! NOT Me!

I do believe that aging doesn’t necessitate immobility. But we need to keep that attitude of a lifelong learner and be willing to discover, change, and grow. That is difficult but not impossible. It calls for staying young at heart.

Really cute! And a great attitude.

So I have a new map to my hips. And I plan to discover a path to become less stuck. Last week I spent the day gardening and focused on how I was kneeling and squatting. I worked very hard to keep my pelvis perfectly squared. It felt like I had gone to the chiropractor rather than spent the day digging! My hips felt free! And then the next day my low back ached horribly. I acted like a high schooler again–over doing it and not thinking about the consequences. One discovery on this path is respecting physical boundaries and practicing patience.

Pushing too hard to achieve the perfect split.

I still need to figure ways to get unstuck. My work isn’t done. But then again, I’m not ready to stop learning either. So every day, I notice my little habits that might keep me stuck and from discovering my true self. And I try to blaze a new trail toward becoming a little less stuck. It has always been my tendency to bully my way through obstacles in my path (I am not totally mature). And you know, maybe that is why my pelvis is stressed. So now I plan to treat my hips a little bit better. To maybe talk to them, spend some quality time with them, be less snobby, and even become their BFF. And each day I remind myself how blessed I am to have basically a whole, healthy body, along with great friends, and car doors that don’t need safety locks.

ME! Not perfect, but on the path to healthy, unstuck hips.