A Yoga pose is created in the mind and initiated in the body. Yoga is more than just thinking about a posture; it is visualizing and initiating the correct form for the most health benefits. We are what we think. When we begin to practice a Yoga pose, it is important to visualize it in the mind before we initiate it physically. It is also important to do the best we can to move all the involved body parts in place in a balanced form. Yoga involves deep concentration on correct synchronization of all body parts including deep breathing and holding the posture initiated. Yoga is like any other learning experience, how we practice it becomes ingrained as a habit which can have beneficial results if the form is correct or no positive benefit if incorrectly practiced and it becomes a negative habit.
The benefit of Yoga is visualizing the posture and experiencing positive effects such as improved postural integration into everyday activity. If we rush through forming each of the postures, then it will be recorded in the mind/body as practiced. If a Yoga pose is improperly initiated, the body will also adapt that form and you may have to relearn it to achieve positive results aligning the muscles/tissue/skeleton that contributes to great flexibility and reduction of pain.
Today, let’s have fun with a lengthened forward bend to awaken the psoas muscle located inside the pelvic abdominal area and works together with the femur or thighbone, as well as the lower back aligning hips. To initiate the forward bend, find a peaceful location like at this beautiful ranch in Glades County, to calm the mind and body.
Stand in “Tadasana” or “Mountain Pose” with the legs wide apart, feet straight forward, hips aligned in a straight line over the feet. As you slowly bend deeply from the waist, clasp the hands together in the back and slowly raise them over the head. Keep the head in line with a straight back and neck as you lift the arms up to the sky and hold the pose. The head is level with the back and the eyes look forward. Feel the contraction of the psoas on both sides bringing the thighs and hips into a deep, straight forward bend. As you stay in the pose, continue to pull in the abdominals, inhale and exhale Hold the pose several minutes then slowly bend the knees, lower the arms and come back up with a straight back.
If you practice the forward bend in the morning, it will awaken the core and release energy. As you repeat the pose, you will feel a deeper sense of flexibility and core length which releases tension.
Every Yoga pose involves thinking about each move and coordinating the body parts as one, for the greatest long-term benefits. Sometimes new Yoga students express surprise at the energy it takes to correctly initiate postures and repeat them with a flowing breath. This is a wonderful discovery as Yoga relieves pain and contributes to a healthy mind/body. With human motivation we create “synergy” defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, as the “power of a group of muscles working together, greater than the power achieved, by each working separately.” Add the “synergistic” energy of laughter and a smile as you practice Yoga, as we are what we think! Have fun!