Tension in the upper back (thoracic spine) can significantly limit your movements and eventually affect other areas of your body. Remember, everything is connected! Over time, the body adapts and if not addressed, a tension we may consider trivial at first, can develop into a chronic one. Today, I am sharing with you a sequence that is part of my personal daily maintenance program, the key to keeping accumulated tensions at bay.
I was recently reminded, by a wise teacher, that yoga is not just about stretching our hamstrings. Unifying mind, body and breath, yoga is indeed a refined system that extends far beyond yoga postures. It is a way of life that is supported by what is referred to as the 8 limbs of yoga, each step preparing us for the next one, while offering guidance on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. The 6th limb of yoga, Dharana, refers to focused concentration. It teaches us how to slow down the thinking process (our monkey mind!) by concentrating on a single mental object.
Very rarely will you attend a yoga class where there are no Warrior posture introduced in the practice. One of the reasons is that they are achievable by most people, and they provide a multitude of physical, emotional, and mental benefits.
We all know it; exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, and engaging in social interactions, are crucial self-care components to stay healthy. Over the years, thru my personal yoga practice, it's become a little easier to put myself first, and to fight the temptations of taking care of other people or things, before getting on my mat or going for a run. As I get older, I realize that these self-care moments feed my ability to stay focused, energized, and "perform well on the job." When 2018 came around, I felt I needed an added motivation, something different!
Many years ago, I was an accomplished "multi-tasker". Combined with a couple of destructive personal traits and overwhelming losses, (which I won’t go into here,) I multitasked myself into a burn-out and a full-blown depression. Yoga and meditation, combined with regular counselling, played a huge part in my slow, but steady recovery.