One thing I love about the way Desiree teaches is that you can do her kind of yoga ALL DAY LONG!!! Walking around Steamboat Springs for the last few days with my backpack rolling my shoulders back, and my trapezius muscles down my back. I can practice what she calls anchors–at belly, low front ribs and throat–when I’m standing in line or waiting to pay. Stretching my hands and feet when I’m sitting at a table brings me back into my bod.
Some soreness in my upper back is reminding me to do that five-minute slow Cat/Cow pose she recommends. Squats. Side body long. And after a walk stretch quads and hamstrings. Yay! Oh! and don’t forget the hips, pelvis and psoas.
Desiree developed Wisdom Warriors to develop poses and a framework that will help us age with mobility, grace and dignity. I’ve always been afraid of getting old and infirm; my yoga practice has given me tools to fend off that fear. I want to continue, and help others start a yoga practice that serves us through all of our lives. I’ve often said that if you can breathe, you can do yoga. So much of the practice is about controlling the breath, and using the breath to regulate our response to the world.
There’s a lot more to do besides breathing though, so much of this practice makes us stronger, more balanced. It can be such strong support for being mobile and feeling good through whatever age we live. I’m reviewing the recordings as I write this, and Karen is talking about the formula for happiness–50% genetics, 10% circumstances; 40% is related to intention and mindset. She talked about gratitude. A gratitude practice causes inflammation to decrease 25%.
Now this may sound like we’re supposed to be calm and happy all the time, but if you know me at all, you know that isn’t what I’m about. HOWEVER, remaining in fight/flight/freeze mode all the time is very unhealthy. In “Light on Life,” BKS Iyengar says our emotions serve us if we let them pass through. But if we hold onto anger it becomes resentment and rage. Sadness can become depression, and holding onto fear results in a constantly anxious state. None of that sounds fun. Not at all.
I’m continuing to process the training from last weekend. I’ve experimented on my mat the last few days, and I plan to use some of the things I learned in my Friday morning class at Shakti. And, exciting for me, I’m teaching for Brette on Saturday morning at 10, and we’re gonna have some fun with it then too!