I am on my summer 2014 tour and about to wrap up the last day of
Yoga for a Happy Back Training at
Yoga on York with my fabulous hosts Rae Lynn Stackpoole and Jeff Peltz. It has been an amazing time here which began with a surf in the 60 degree Atlantic Ocean (BRRR!) followed by lots of fresh juicing, Yoga, hiking in the mountains and an intense TRX class with Jeff. Oh yeah, and teaching 8 hours a day in a lovely historic building surrounded by lush green fields (see view from the studio window below).
In class today, we talked about the physical and emotional causes of neck pain and the often related feeling of “carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.” Many of us agreed that we have the tendency to stuff our feelings in an effort to remain in control. We also agreed that the work of Yoga is to help us become comfortable in being more vulnerable and allowing ourselves to feel more, without shame; to allow the emotions buried deep in our tissues to come to the surface and move through us with acceptance and grace.
In my teacher Aadil Palkhivala’s book, Fire of Love, he discusses
Feeling Vs. Forcing as a key concept of Yoga. Instead of rushing through life, pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion, or focusing on outward performance, we are encouraged to slow down and pay attention as we move mindfully in our asana practice.
He writes, ” In Yoga, the victory is not in the victory but in the ability to feel more than we felt before. The more we feel, the more we can feel. We are exercising and developing the muscles of feeling.”
I invite you to come learn, play, feel and explore with me in San Diego this month! I will be teaching my old Wednesday “Happy Back Yoga” class at Prana Yoga Center, 10-11:15 am on July 23 and will be offering a host of workshops including Yoga for the Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders, Scoliosis and Sacroiliac (SI) joint.
I hope to see you next week!!