Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Take a Look at Your Sole

I've been going to a chiropractor for a few weeks now and have discovered some completely new information about my body and how I hold it in space.

Today, during my chiropractic appointment, my doctor tells me that my right foot tends to pronate, or hold my weight more on one edge rather than an even distribution across the 3 major points of the foot [namely, the mound of the big toe, mound of the pinkie toe and center of the heel - creates a triangle] I have the unhealthy habit of wearing [cute] ballet flats which have no way of supporting or enhancing my standing and walking habits. He could tell by the wear on the sole of my shoe that I was a pronator! As I did some research online, I found that I actually "underpronate," which causes stress on the lower leg...maybe the reason I used to get shin splints?... I don't know :)

So in yoga, [think Mountain pose] it is essential to bring the physical body to neutral, and do our best to bring our mental focus to neutral. When we do this, we communicate to the nervous system that we are safe and can begin to restore and repair on both planes. From this place of neutrality, we can then begin to condition specific aspects of the mind-body that we know [through self-study] are our challenge.

Take a look at the link above for some interesting self-study. I'm not really promoting self-diagnosis here, but maybe the information will lead you to discover a small detail worth considering next time you step on your mat, or buy a pair of shoes.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why Athletes Need Yoga

Many people who grew up playing sports were taught stretching and exercise routines that are harmful to the body and philosophies that may actually create barriers for success. Yoga is a holistic physical practice, meaning that the practice restores and optimizes the entire human system (including the bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, mind)in a complimentary fashion.

Often, athletes are coached to value winning, competition and physical pain which can result in long term injury or overuse. In fact, yoga can rehabilitate many of the effects of an old injury through its dynamic movements and focus on undoing physical and mental blockages.

Also, there is no “yoga body” - the physical practice enhances the individual frame and composition, so there’s no prototype to strive for on the physical level. Yoga teaches from a place of non-injury, and values self-study as a way to prevent damage and pain, so that each person who practices yoga develops their own individual pace for advancement.

There is nothing to win in yoga, even though the benefits of the practice feel like a reward.

Breathe on!