animal hang

I’ve been doing a lot of hanging out lately. Meaning I’ve been upside down, letting gravity have its way with me, allowing elongation. Slowing down and breathing fully. A gravity assist into revised perspective. Traction-ing open hunks of vertebrae, sanctioning disc expansion, yawning ribs free.   In suspended shapes off my couch, treatment table, strap sling, I experience much. What it feels like to breathe into my back body, especially upper right and lower left, the air entering and emancipating what yearns to be free. The exhale calling in the opposite diagonal, inviting it to draw to, align to center.

I breathe into each release as a pull toward earth mama, a surrender, a willingness to let go, let be. And when someone works on my body in this shape—even for the briefest minute—the liberation, the unleashing, the undoing is magnified ten fold. And so I knew I had to raise the head of my treatment table so I could work on others in this shape. Seriously, if you have spine or hip stuff going on and you have not experienced this…just saying. And then of course there is the home application piece: how to find a way into upside down and subtle low core awareness to create facilitation of traction in weight bearing. In other words, how to keep it alive on your feet or sitting.

And since I am on this anatomy geek thread, a word about the double tennis balls. You know them for their spine release magic and if you don’t you probably should. This year they made their way to the edges of the lower leg bone, the tibia, for awesome foot healing assistance. And a month ago they landed someplace new because I did not have a handy block to wedge between my thighs, a yoga technique to encourage rooting pelvis to feet. Just picture the double tennis balls snug up in there…ok I know, TMI. But just to make sure I was not entering some uber-crazed zone, I had five embodied types try it and they were all blown away.

It is a very easy way to teach subtle core stability in ADL, activities of daily living, including some dance and yoga. Because you can move easily with them, the only requirement being awareness and a muted central activation. This central squeeze helps sustain the length you feel in traction. I am super excited to begin using them as teaching tool in combination with practical ways to traction. It will be the basis for class this week at It’s All Yoga: Tuesday morning 8:30 and Friday night 6:00. Love that I have this venue to teach in.

In fact, as long as we are in anatomy geek mode, I am reporting truly happy land when teaching experiential anatomy lately to yoga teachers in training. This topic can be so fun when we put down the textbooks and realize that we are living in one. Of all the things I teach-offer out there, this hands down comes with the most ease.

In fact, just picture that stacked spine as you read, exhale and root sit bones, inhale and glide crown toward ceiling. Feel how long you can be…long to be free…bella