Facial expressions, body movement and voice identify who we are when we meet other individuals. Each person projects an image consciously and unconsciously such as a smile. a frown, a slumped body which sends a message to those whose lives we touch. When we step out of “non-thinking” behaviors and take a mental inventory, we discover that there are many optional chooses of thoughts and behaviors. A positive “Yoga mindset’ inspires conscious pro-active thinking/behaviors inwardly and outwardly. When we step onto a Yoga mat and initiate postures, we are taking actions to clear the mind/body of negativity and moving forward. A Yoga practice is self-defined as each person initiates postures by taking a class then practicing the movements/mindset into everyday activities. Yoga awakens awareness to initiate healthy postures, eating habits and pro-active thoughts. This is the “Yoga mind.” Now let’s discover your “center of gravity.” flexibility. emotional stability and balance.
A Yoga practice stresses slow, deep breathing to expand flexibility. When learning Yoga, standards of behavior and postures improve each day with practice, thus, each class begins in quiet meditation with legs folded on the mat and eyes closed. This beginning step is to calm the mind/body, so find a suitable location where you can let go of the world and any creeping negativity that unconsciously may slip into the mind. This is the first step in “centering your balance.”
Today, we begin the Yoga practice with a focus on the core muscles of the abdominals by initiating: “Crouch Pose.” This posture builds strength and stability when walking, standing, moving and being able to lift straight up from a sitting position in a chair. “Crouches” are initiated with a deep knee bend, balancing on the toes and heels centered beneath the buttocks, while opening the knees to each side and coming straight down. The balls of the feet and heels need to stay together in the “Crouch’ position.
Shield Wellness Yoga Instructor, Nancy Dale, discovers an ancient oak, maybe a thousand years old in Highlands Hammock State Park still gripping the Earth, to inspire the strength of this posture. The Yoga “Crouch Pose” begins with knees extended to each side as the body comes straight down into a deep crouch, as arms are lifted into an open “V” above the head and held out wide for several deep breaths. This pose requires concentration, focus and strength to maintain balance while holding the pose. This is the “Yoga Challenge” not to give up but keep practicing and improving. Conquering this posture will build the inner thighs, the legs, arms, and knees to make walking, sitting, running and exercise routines more efficient, as well as similar everyday tasks.
The main principle in initiating this pose is to keep the back as straight as possible, not bending forward. Thus, begin slowly and gradually come straight down with palms together and elbows extended out to the sides. Work on achieving this movement before raising up the arms straight up into a “V” and balancing for several deep breaths in the “Crouch.” This is a Level III posture for those who want to challenge the internal strength of the lower body. It will take time and practice to initiate and hold the posture. It is a great posture to end a daily Yoga practice.
Join the classes at Shield Wellness Center, 4597 Casablanca Circle, Sebring on Tues-Fridays, 1 to 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Make room in your busy life to discover and improve your physical strength!