“The World is Too Much with Us” is a sonnet by English poet William Wordsworth, circa 1802, when he criticized the role of the First Industrial Revolution as “materialistic and distancing from Nature.” As time has continued to move forward into the 21st Century, the schism between material reality and Nature may still be felt by many human beings, however, turning to the physical, mental, philosophical practice of Yoga, anxiety of daily pressures can be released creating harmony within differences. This is the focus of today’s stress relieving posture, a “Backbend” which helps to bring your body back into balance and improves posture.
Yoga is a “mobile” practice that you take with you and apply in daily functions such as cleaning, sports activities, sitting at the computer and in the healthy world of Nature, breathing in fresh oxygen and exhaling toxins, as the mind is calmed amidst a peaceful environment. There are many different types of Yoga practices that can be initiated as slow-moving healing postures to clear the mind/body of anxious thoughts and harmonize the mind/body into actions that heal. When the mind is distracted and pulled in many “worldly” directions, it is difficult to focus on the “art of healing.” Translating Yoga postures into the body from the mind requires concentration on health and wellness so the “worldly” disappears.
Now, we turn to Nature on a spontaneous hike into the woods, pausing by a giant Oak Tree, standing tall and firm. This is the perfect place to emulate Nature’s strength and integrate it into Yoga postures. The pose, pictured with Instructor Nancy Dale is a slow curve of the back with firm balancing through the legs and feet that rejuvenates and lengthens the spine from the upper body through the hips. This simple backbend ignites the fire within to activate and release tightly held energy that blocks flexibility and relaxation. When Yoga is practiced in Nature, the muscles and tissues are awakened with the back and arms gently curved backwards.
This slow backbend is initiated by standing tall, gently curving backwards with arms and neck extended long, hands firmly resting on the core of the tree. Through this gentle initiation of a backbend, the spine releases tension. as the vertebrate slowly separate and lengthen into the gentle curve using the tree as balance. The posture is held a few minutes to give time for the spine to adjust.
Initiating this posture in the silence of “Mother Nature” is a healing process of “letting go” of the rush of life and focusing inward as negative energy is released from the spine and the body is awakened to move in harmony with the body.
Yoga postures do not have to be complex twists and turns to create flexibility in the joints/muscles/tendons, as Yoga begins where you are at the present. The body may be tight, tense, and painful when moving but Yoga in Nature is calming as the body slowly loosens and postures become easier. When the core of the body is gently extended, the mind and body release stress and anxiety. A simple backbend, as in the picture with arms extended up the tree, lengthens the spine gently. This slow, non-stressful flow of movement, allows the connective tissue to release without strain.
Take Yoga with you into your surroundings whether in Nature, the office or home and contribute harmony to the lives you touch. Join the FREE CLASSES at Shield Wellness Center in Sebring, 4597 Casablanca Circle on U.S. 27 North. Yoga classes are held Mondays and Friday 1-2:30 p. m. and Thursdays 5:30-7:00 p.m. Your body will begin to feel a welcomed change!