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Letter 1/13/2021 Welcome back to Yoga!

1/13/21

All, I started this email last Wednesday.  Mid page, I realized what was happening at the Capitol and lost the rest of the day (and most of the week) to anxiety, outrage and concern.  A week later and I am still troubled by the events.  I remember visiting DC with my son’s 5th grade class.  We toured the White House and the Capitol on that trip with a great tour guide.  The place was filled with young tourists eager to look at that really old building and all of those cool statues.  It felt like a special place to me and I hope that I can eventually let go of the images I keep seeing of the defacing of the building and the fear in the eyes of the Capitol Police.  I don’t want to forget it completely, but I want the images of Dylan and his friends and his teachers to replace them again.  I don’t like to talk too much about politics in class, but this feels different. White supremacy and violent overthrow of the government is disgusting.  I am an optimist and I hope this is the beginning of a new day.  I will be celebrating on January 20th!  Take care of your self, don’t over do with the news, and hug your family.


Yoga Friends it is so great to be back in class! It is not too late to join us.  If you need zoom links, let me know I can re-send them.

This week’s classes have already given me ideas for articles/videos to share.


Many students requested help for their sore hands.

I have two videos on Youtube that cover this.

Sore Hands? Roll them out!https://youtu.be/72PTOUV8SZI

Really great Hand and Forearm stretcheshttps://youtu.be/ktb0eG8tXio


These were filmed ages ago at the Meeting House….Awwwww. I miss that space.


We continue our breathing practice at the beginning and end of classes.

I thought I would share the instructions in case anyone needs more info.  If this is new and feels weird, just keep at it.  As Pam said this week in class, "We have done it in class so much, now I can practice it at home”. Yay! Practice and repetition really do help us learn how to do these techniques. Last session we did the alternate nostril breathing technique (see below) without the pauses.  We will add the pauses later this session.  


Why practice? The breathing practice we have been doing improves lung function, lowers heart rate, blood pressure and sympathetic stress.  If you need inspiration to practice more breathing, read James Nestor’s book Breath. It is an entertaining and informative read.



All below excerpted from Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestorwww.mrjamesnestor.com/breath


Nasal Clearing Noses are for Breathing! Mouths are for eating!  Practice breathing in and out of your nose throughout the day. Including while exercising.


Exhale a soft breath. Gently pinch both nostrils shut.

Shake your head side to side, or sway or get up and walk a bit. When you feel the urge to breathe, take a slow and controlled inhale through the nose.  Continue this calm controlled breathing for 30 to 60 seconds.  Repeat all these steps 6 times. (We usually only do 3 times in class).

Much More info about this is in the Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown


Alternate Nostril Breathing


Inhale through left very slowly. At the top of the breath pause briefly holding both nostrils closed. Then exhale through the right nostril. At the end of the exhale, hold both nostrils closed and then inhale through the right nostril hold both nostrils closed. And then exhale through the left. (that’s one cycle).Repeat 5-10 cycles

Inhale
Exhale
Inhale
Exhale
Inhale
Exhale
Inhale
Exhale
Left
Right
Right
Left
Left
Right
Right
Left
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed
Pause with both nostrils closed


I mentioned a book this week in class called Falling is Not an Option by George Locker  https://store.bookbaby.com/book/falling-is-not-an-option

I have just started reading it and will share tips!  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/14/well/live/elderly-balance-falls.html?referringSource=articleShare This week we practiced standing with the feet slightly wider apart, facing forward, with the knees slightly bent.   The pelvis is relaxed, and neutral and the trunk is upright and relaxed. George Locker calls this the Horse Stance.  He suggests holding this for as long as possible with a goal of 15 minutes…and practice every day.


Worried about balance?  Get out of your chair and sit on the floor (or a firm pillow or a low stool).  Put sitting on the floor everyday on your to-do list!  It is not cheating to sit on something…a yoga block or a firm yoga bolster work great, too. I am a big fan of developmental movements…like crawling and rolling over.  Once you are on the floor, you might crawl a bit. Or spend some time in sphinx…to counteract all of that sitting.

Bolster source:  https://www.huggermugger.com/standard-yoga-bolster/


I think that is it for today.

Thanks, as always, for all of your support.  I am so lucky to be able to teach.  

Hugs,

Julie