Updated: Nov 6
This week we work through a flow for exploring movement and stability in our hips and look at how we can use our yoga practice as a way of tuning into what the body is telling us. So often we rely on our mind to decide what to do next and we miss the messages from our body. Intuition, gut instinct, call it what you want, our body is always giving us information and, as we tune in, we can use this data as knowledge to help us move forward, following the “glimmers” of what brings us joy to take the next steps.
We'll dive into this in class, Tuesday, November 7th, 9-10am at Scout Hut 6388 or Wednesday, 8th November, 8-9pm at YogaFurie. I hope you can join me... Book online.
Hips are amazing joints that give us a huge range of motion while also doing the job of creating both balance and stability.
Here’s where the trouble can sometimes lie, if we habitually overuse muscles to keep ourselves stable, we can start to limit our full range of movement. How? By keeping some muscles always on, and underusing others we can lose the capacity to respond efficiently to the need for movement.
Some examples: Having hamstrings switched on all the time will make forward folds much harder! Or an imbalance in how we are using our glutes can result in lack of movement in our lower back or hips and as other muscles overwork.
It’s often the spine and the muscles in our back that end up taking the flak for a dysfunction in the way we are using our hips. Maintaining a balance of strength and flexibility is therefore key in preventing injury … and yoga asana is so great for this!
The areas of our hips and pelvis are energetically associated with svadisthana chakra, the element of water and the vayu or energy flow of vyana which was thought to govern our circulation. A healthy flow of vyana is also associated with being in touch with our desire and the capacity to flow with where our energy and interests take us.
And isn’t it amazing how much energy we have when we are following our interests instead of doing something we find onerous?
Kids are great examples of this. Notice the difference in getting through the tasks needed to leave the house when they are excited about where you are off to, vs. when they are headed for a dreaded lesson or class.
Much emphasis in modern life and self-help literature is placed on the idea of following your passions to find meaning and flow in our life.
This is great but sometimes I find it discouraging too… what if we don’t have one great passion? … What if we do, but we have other responsibilities which prevent us from dropping everything to follow it?
What we want, can get mistaken for ‘should’ and ‘ought to’ – we can get caught up with doing the “right thing” instead of doing what we actually want.
I like Deb Dana’s way of bringing it back to the wisdom of our body to guide us in following what we want to do. In her work on Polyvagal theory, she talks about following the glimmers…. Here, 'glimmers' mean small moments that spark joy or peace, which can help cue our nervous system to feel safe or calm.
"We're not talking great, big, expansive experiences of joy or safety or connection," Dana says. "These are micro-moments that begin to shape our system in very gentle ways."
If a "trigger" throws us into a defensive, disconnected or anxious nervous-system response, a"glimmer” can be seen as the opposite – when our biology is in a place of connection or regulation.
A yoga practice is the perfect time to start tuning into what our body is telling us so that we are ready to notice those small joyful moments and allow ourselves to start flowing with the glimmers.
Join me in class, Tuesday, November 7th, 9-10am at Scout Hut 6388 or Wednesday, 8th November, 8-9pm at YogaFurie. Book online