mulling things over

What’s important

I’ve known for a long time that these things are important. Somehow reminders keep coming around.

Fascia – the big bag of connective tissue our physical bodies are in. I encountered Paul Grilley’s work first in an article in Yoga Journal where he talked about the wide range of differences from one body to another. As a person with a body with joints at the inflexible end of the curve, I found it very reassuring. That led me to his book Yin Yoga, which talks about the fascia as being stiff and inelastic and thus needing to be stretched very slowly. Yesterday, after practicing the fibromyalgia sequence developed by Sam Dworkis and described in Yoga as Medicine by Timothy McCall, I went to Sam’s site, ExTension Yoga. Guess what? Same idea.

Breath – It’s trivial and obvious to say that how critical breath is to every human being. What is not necessarily obvious is how subtle and yet hugely valuable it is to our bodies and beings (if you can separate those two) to breathe mindfully, to focus on breath, and to control our breath to use it for well-being. In Yoga as Medicine pretty much every chapter makes this point and provides ways to practice breathing. Same for ExTension Yoga. Same for the pranayama classes given by Mary Obendorfer a couple of weeks ago at our yoga center.

Energy – We think our skin is our boundary between our bodies and the world. But that’s just a line we can see. I’ve been receiving energy treatments from one of my yoga teachers, and it’s pretty clear that skin is not the edge. The last couple of times I felt I was receiving the healing from the treatment. I have another one today and I’m expecting something different, I’m not sure why.

One other little note: This morning while walking I complained for a minute about how much my arms hurt. Then I said “OK, that’s enough of that.” I think it’s pretty boring for other people to hear me complaining. And I worry that I’m wallowing in it by complaining. My walking partner reminded me that it’s valuable to be aware of the pain, to be present with it, and neither to judge nor expect anything from it. I’m working on that. Good idea. Breathing is part of that presence.

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