Feels good to be upside down

Last night I did an hour and a half of yoga including plow pose and shoulder stand. I missed my class at the gym so I dug out a yoga video we bought years ago that I could never do. It’s not the greatest video, but I can do it now, and it just felt so great to spend that much time doing some vigorous body work again.

I was very pleased to find I can actually sort of do the shoulder stand, which I could never do before. Shoulder stands are great for relaxing and energizing the body, not just because they tip you upside down, but also because they sort of massage out the cervical vertebrae that all your nerves pass through. You get this really amazing feeling afterward if you do it right. Your whole body is so relaxed, but not sleepy relaxed, more alive. Of course, if you do it wrong, it hurts like heck and you could probably do yourself a serious injury. Fortunately, I’ve had a good bit of instruction in shoulder stands from the teachers at Inner Heat, otherwise I’d probably hurt myself. Shoulder stands are hard. Yogis make them look easy, but you really have to use your whole body, especially your torso, to keep yourself upright. The pose requires a leap of faith, too, but it’s really worth it. I’m always wanting to drop everything and do one in the middle of the day, but it’s not something you can rush into for a quick fix.

Anyway, I didn’t sleep especially well, and I’m sore all over, but my posture’s great and I feel very disciplined. The discipline is a pleasant surprise. I don’t know if it’s a result of the good posture (posture does a lot more for us than most of us realize), or the actual practice of the yoga, or both, but now I’ve got another good reason to keep yoga-ing. I feel like this summer I’m collecting tools for surviving my first year of grad school: nine-hour work day, having to deal with other people at work, writing a grant application, and now yoga as discipline. Hope these helpers keep up the assistance once I get to LA.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]