Alignment. I love working on alignment. I really do. My journey isn’t just about losing weight; it’s about becoming healthier in every way. How I walk, how I move has always been important to me. I’m not sure I can really explain this without offending someone, but when I was heavier I didn’t really walk. Waddle would be a better description. I hesitate to state that for fear of offending people, but it’s true. My body didn’t know how to balance the excess weight.
That’s why yoga serves as a central segment of my overall health program. It helps me to move more easily. I walk with more confidence than I used to because I have a better sense of inner and outer alignment.
I’ve been having trouble lately aligning my knees, so I’ve been more cautious while doing the third part of awkward. In the almost year and a half I’ve been doing Bikram it NEVER occurred to me that I had been doing the third part of awkward incorrectly. Bikram says “lock your knees by squeezing the thigh muscles” and I’m equally sure the same thing has been said in class many many times. I just didn’t hear it until NOW.
You see, prior to a couple of weeks ago, when I’d do the third part of awkward I’d squeeze my knees together as if the goal was to have the kneecaps meet. I didn’t concentrate on squeezing the thighs together.
Now that I know the correct way to do the posture, I can feel the difference in my alignment. My knees and thighs feel stronger when I do it correctly. I don’t beat myself up for not having heard this sooner. I’m grateful I hear it now, and it makes me more determined to get out of my own head and pay better attention to the moments when I’m in class. That’s why I didn’t hear this before—my head was too busy getting muddled in its own gunky thoughts!
So now I go forward again, with a new determination to be in the moment whether I’m in the hot room, my own classroom, or just taking a stroll in the middle of the day. Being in the moment—well, life feels happier that way!
Here’s a video showing how I used to do awkward and how I’m working at doing it now. The distinction might be hard to see, but I’ve tried! The goal is to squeeze the knees together using the thigh muscles, not the knees!
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