In a physical yoga practice, we regularly spend time standing on one foot. In fact, a balance pose is standard in most yoga classes. There are all sorts of benefits to doing this--building ankle and foot strength, learning to stabilize the core, learning to lift out of the hip joint, learning focus and concentration, finding stability within instability. While these are excellent reasons, such benefits can feel temporal. Let me tell you a story about one of the unforeseen benefits.
Last Saturday morning, as I was heading out to teach yoga, I took a misstep off my porch. I landed on the side of my right foot and a blinding, can't-move, can't-think, might-puke pain shot through me. I waited a few moments until I could cope with it, hobbled to the car, and taught yoga with an ice pack on my ankle. It began to swell immediately, and by that evening a dark purple bruise covered both sides of my foot. By the morning, the bruise grew to encompass the top of my foot and the back of my ankle. The whole appendage looked horrific. But here's the thing: I could walk just fine. No pain when I put weight on it, and full mobility.
I talked to my doctor about my ankle and foot on Monday. He said the bruising resembled what we see in a Grade 3 ankle sprain (the worst kind), but it was functioning like a Grade 1 sprain. He told me, "I think all that yoga you do probably saved you from a complete tear of the ligament."
See, those balance poses in a yoga practice aren't there to torture us, nor are they there so we can look elegant in pictures. They are there so that our bodies and minds learn to adjust quickly to whatever is happening to us. A balance pose is there so that when the missteps and random whatevers of life knock us about, we feel the pain we need to feel...and then we right ourselves again and continue on.
Here's to practicing over and over that which benefits us in more ways than we can predict.
Yoga Teacher Class Planning
A number of my students have begun their journeys into yoga teacher training, and they are now preparing their first classes. While there are many methods for taking notes for class plans, one method (and the one I use) is to keep class notes in a journal. Though you should use any journal you connect with, I designed a few styles in case you need inspiration. You can find them below.
Black History Month
Support Black-owned businesses this and every month. For example, check out these two shops owned by friends:
Inspiring and empowering bags, totes, mugs, masks, clothing, and more.
Essential oil blends, salves, and creams, handmade in Painesville, Ohio. The Sweet Dreams roller ball is my favorite.
Win a yoga mat! Until February 28th, each time you attend a yoga class at Força you are eligible to put your name in a jar to win a black Gaiam Performance Dry-Grip Yoga Mat (a $70 value). The more classes you attend, the greater your chances of winning! See the mat in my collection here.
February 14, 6:30pm at Força: Love Songs & Thai Massage Techniques. Give yourself some lovin' by learning self-massage techniques for muscle and fascia release, because a happy you is a happy everyone, amirite?
February 28, 6:30pm at Força: Mardi Gras & Sangria. NOLA jazz music, yoga flows, & sangria! $5 cover
March 9, 6:30pm at Força: Glow Yoga! Black lights, glow sticks, glow paint, and movement.
Weekly Class Schedule
Mon. 6:30pm: Music Monday (Hot Yoga, Força)
Wed. 6:30pm: Vinyasa (Hot Yoga, Força)
Thurs. 6:30pm: Inside Flow (Hot Yoga, Força)
Fri. 2:00pm: Meditation (online)
Sat. 9:00am: Vinyasa (Hot Yoga, Força)
New Mats in Stock
Affirmation mats, all rubber mats, and more. Click on the images below to learn about them!