Here on the East Coast, we are well into winter. Each time this season rolls around I absolutely know I was a bear in a previous life. The cold temperatures and less light signal something deep inside of me and send me looking for a place to curl up with a soft blanket. I do make more time for some yummy naps but as we all know, life continues.
In my yoga and other wholebeing practices, I stay committed to getting my heart rate up and sweating as I know these are critical during this time. The other poses that offer support for me this time of year are forward folds.
I won’t get all benefit-oriented on you this week. Let me just say I have recently found that this act of folding into myself bringing head toward knees feels good. (Notice I said toward. My head will NEVER touch my knees friends!)
In a recent book by Brené Brown, Dare to Lead, she mentions having a strong back, soft front and wild heart. (Here she is talking with Krista Tippett on On Being about it.) When I first head that phrase it resonated for me as I was just starting CrossFit and realized how weak my back was. Even as an avid “exerciser” my back, like so many of us who sit a lot, had become stiff and weak.
I knew I had a limited range of motions in my shoulders but this new discovery made me much more aware of how I think about my back. Well, actually that I don’t think much about my back! Maybe I do a little, it doesn’t hurt so I am thankful but I was not thinking about my back body as a strong foundation of my body.
This idea of back includes the upper back that supports your shoulders and rib cage and your lower back and your hamstrings. Again, I have stumbled over the fact that EVERYTHING is connected.
Forward folds get into all of those areas. I found this article and love the 8 different ways that forward folds can be explored from standing to seated, for beginner to advanced level yogis!
This week’s invitation for a wholebeing practice…
Pick one of the forward folds in the article and try this at night and in the morning for 5-minutes, nice and soft. Just breath and let your back body know you’ve got it. Let your front body soften, you’ve got it too. Know in this short pause, you have a strong back, a soft front and a wild heart.
Be there for you. You’ve got this.