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A return to the mat

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Today upon rising my wonky left shoulder wasn’t so wonky or painful and I took that as a sign that it was safe to return to my physical practice…gently of course.

I decided to pick up largely where I had left off with my Samisthiti practice, the one in which the principle posture is standing. I’m starting to enjoy it very much. There’s a lot of things coalescing around me right now, including a realization I have some of the worst body awareness going. I’ve lived most of my life from the chin up and my body from the clavicles south is pretty much uncharted territory. One would think that after the amount of time I’ve spent in a yoga class of some type, I would have got it by now. Uhhhhhh, no, I haven’t. I’m just starting to figure out that I’m now starting to get it. What can I say? I’m on the slow learning curve.

So for me, the last few days have been an extremely interesting and minorly uncomfortable experience. I suddenly notice my normal little misalignments of body structure, how my body habitually twists and what has probably always felt uncomfortable but has remained unnoticed for me. It sounds a bit silly but I’m a person who has lived inside my mind all of my life, certainly all of my adult life. Now, I just seem to be appreciating that I have a body as well.

The previous experiments in Parivrtta Trikonasana are paying dividends. The lesson from Yoga Journal on grounding through the legs and not allowing my hips to swivel is really adding a punch to the posture. Now the twist is working through my thoracic spine whereas before I was allowing the lower side hip to drop and shortcut the process.

On other notes, last night’s gathering with my fellow new teachers and our teacher was hugely rewarding. One, I’ve come to love these women and keeping track of what’s new in their lives is important to me. Secondly, my teacher is fresh back from her time with her teacher and she’s packing new ideas on how to continue our training. Next class is in September and I’m looking forward to it. As grateful as I am to be returning to my own practice, I will be glad to resume the structure of class, etc, particularly starting to delve more deeply into the Sutras.

Thanks for reading and Namaste,



About Kate MacKay

I'm a certified Viniyoga teacher, in Fredericton, NB. I was a 9-1-1 operator and emergency services dispatcher for 22 years. Surprisingly, the two worked well together, or as I liked to put it, from the sublime to the ridiculous -- all in a day's work. I'm currently off work as a result of a stress-induced cardiac condition that's thrown a few crimps in my lifestyle. I'm not actively teaching yoga in the classroom right now and probably won't for several more months. That said, this blog is one of the forms of practice I can do and I thank you for joining me in this exploration of all things yoga.

2 responses »

  1. Something that might help you is a practice called zhan zhuang, from Chinese “internal” martial arts. There is no bandha or deliberate contraction involved. You are training your stabilizers over which you don’t have much direct conscious control. (Think about how when you ride a bike your body just balances itself – you don’t tense your core or anything silly like that) Let go of all tension in your mobilizers. Let “prana” flow.

  2. Zhan zhuang… okay, that’s cool!!! Thanks for the reference. I’ll be looking more into that. It’s part of something that’s rattling around in my brain but I didn’t words for. Thanks again for the terminology.



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