Although I haven’t been writing a lot lately, I have done a lot of yoga. I go to class, think about something to write about, and then can’t find time to write, so I currently have a backlog that I could discharge onto this page, however; it would be overwhelming for both of us. Instead I will focus on the most simple thing I have learned lately, and it is thanks to my mother.

I was home for the fourth of July this year, and it was wonderful being back in Seattle for a bit, and to show E around there. We had a great time, but it was absolutely exhausting, and on the last night I felt like I was fading a bit. I was standing in the kitchen, and my mom took one look at me, and she laughed. Not a guffaw, but a giggle, and it was most definitely directed at me. I pestered her about why she was laughing and she said “oh nothing it’s just that your little toes are clenching the floor. I can tell you’re tired. It’s a mom thing.”

I didn’t think too much of this exchange until today, when I was in class. Since I’ve gotten back in to yoga, I have noticed two things.

1. My balance has been off, and
2. my ankles are killing me!!!

I was in the standing head to knee pose, and my ankles hurt and I noticed it again: I was clenching my toes. I slowly started to adjust my weight so it was more evenly distributed, and I tried to relax my toes so I didn’t rely on them to balance my entire body weight. That made a huge difference, and I found I started to rely on other muscles more to hep keep me balanced. Specifically I engaged my quads a bit more and my glutes a LOT more. I found this improved my balance, and it took all that strain right off my ankle as well! What a break through. (Thanks, Mom!)

It’s so true that the details make the biggest difference. Breathing through my nose, keeping my face calm, keeping my abs tight, and not clenching my toes all contribute to my endurance, balance, and form in a huge way.

One of the things I always talk about, and something I really believe, is you can bring things that you learn in class outside of the studio, and they can help you immensely in many aspects of your life. Something I don’t talk (or think) about a lot, is the things that you learn outside the studio that can help you in class. Getting new perspectives, and learning about yourself in any capacity can really help your practice improve. Looking in the mirror and listening to your body and yourself is important, but listening to your friends, instructors, and parents can be an equally valuable perspective.

Think about the things you have learned outside the studio, and how they can help you within it.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow will be: “Don’t Panic.”

-C

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