Our Practice – Spinal Twists Redux
So last week when I talked about the spinal twist and offered the two seated twists in the blog, I was somewhat frustrated because I could not for the life of me download to the computer the spinal care video that I recorded from my phone to edit it. Better late than never, this “old dog” continues to learn new tricks of downloading, uploading, video editing, social media and other topics that are almost a foreign language to me at times! Anyway, I have it here for you and on my YouTube channel!
This short practice designed to be done when your back is a bit cranky or as a proactive way to keep your spine feeling comfortable and flexible. I would not recommend doing it when your back is in spasm. My experience from when my back would spasm, was that the 90-degree angles of legs up on sofa or coffee table, ice and perhaps some gentle knees to chest were all helpful. I also recommend continuing to move - perhaps gentle walking. Total bed or couch rest, for me, exacerbated the issues. When that begins to calm, this short practice may be helpful.
Link to you tube
Meditation – Calming the Monkey Mind
I am a person who perseverates. In thinking about this I decided to look up the definition to confirm what I had supposed: “To recur or repeat continually; to intently focus one’s attention on a thought or thoughts”. The issue can be a trivial task or an important goal; when I choose the item to fixate on, I become relentless and often single minded. If this happens at night, it results in sleeplessness. I have found that my yoga practice truly helps with this “monkey mind”. In Sutra 1.2, Patanjali discusses the need to diminish the chatter or vrttis of the mind to witness our true self. Perhaps you can relate to this?
The disciplines of the 8 limbs of yoga are all part of this process and involve breath work, meditation, self-discipline as well as asanas (postures). I have found that when my mind is racing (or perseverating), pulling myself back to my practice, focusing on breath and movement can truly bring me, at least for a bit, to a better mind space. The combination of tiring the body, engaging the parasympathetic nerve system, and finding some peace through meditation can be transformative. If I were to simply complete the action that is the object of my fixation, I would continue to “feed the monkey” rather than learn tools to “tame” it and its power to derail me. As with many of my challenges, it is a work in process!
“A person can rise through the efforts of his own mind; or draw himself down, in the same manner. Because each person is his own friend or enemy.” - Krishna to Arjuna, Bhagavad Gita
Following is a short article from The Yoga Sanctuary which discusses Sutra 1.2 and the virtues of calming the mind.
Nurturing with Food - Asian Inspired Salad with Ginger Dressing
Most of you know that salad is my favorite food. That may sound crazy, and there are days I crave many other things, but day in and day out I eat salad, many, many salads with lots of stuff on them. So, when we cook Asian food, and it is often, Peter doesn’t think about salad. This summer, however, I was thinking about the vegetables we had in the garden and how good a salad would taste with some other things he was making, so I came up with this. Really great with an Asian inspired meal, or just in general. The ginger dressing makes it!
See you on the mat!