For the longest time I thought only this body lacked proper alignment. I figured other people, skinnier people, had better alignment. My ego loves this thought pattern. It liked it, well it still likes it, for as long as I set myself apart from others in a negative manner I keep myself from progressing. For more time than I care to recount I’d look around the yoga room and see spines that lined up perfectly in triangle, knees that aligned with hips in awkward, but not with this body.
I’m going to let all of you in on a BIG secret that no one really talks about when one carries and loses a fair amount of weight. The bones and muscles find it painful. Think about it. Bones and muscles, that have been carrying the burden of extra weight for years, suddenly find release. They rejoice in their newfound healthy freedom, yet they also find themselves in a state of confusion. What do they do? Where do they go? How do they adjust?
I have the solution. Yoga. Yoga more than any other form of activity works on alignment. That’s my perspective anyways. And, yes, I’ve tried pilates. I’ve tried so much. As a larger person, I’ve always been cognizant of the way I walk. Before I ever started yoga I never felt like I walked. I felt like I waddled. Sound harsh? Well that’s the best way I can describe it.
I might be digressing here, so let me return to yoga. I used to think it important for my feet to touch in certain poses, but with the help of my instructor I’ve come to realize that these feet aren’t meant to touch yet. These feet want to stay in alignment with these hips, so when I look in the mirror I look for that alignment. I look to see that these knees don’t torque to the side. They’ve had that tendency to do that to accommodate for the size of my stomach.
I’d like to point out that I can’t see the proper alignment of my body with these eyes. I’m learning from my instructor, Loren. I kid you not. I have trouble seeing my body in proper form. It helps to have other eyes. This body has been so out of alignment for years that it has to relearn proper alignment. Also, as I continue on this journey my alignment will continue to evolve.
I’m learning also to see the mirror as my friend. It helps me to bear witness to the changes Loren tells me to work on. He does his part to help me, but I have to do my part too. And I’m willing to do it because I’m worth it.
As I progressively work on alignment, I’m learning that alignment of the physical body leads to alignment of the mental body and alignment of the spiritual body. I tend to overthink, over-analyze, over emotionalize so much, and the more I work on proper physical alignment the more I’m able to stabilize my reactions to situations outside myself, the more I’m willing to work on finding balance. Balance? What’s that? Probably material for another blog.
In the meantime, make the mirror your friend. In a yoga class, in a workout setting, while getting dressed. Notice. Observe. See your alignment. See you without judgment. See where you want to go. Then go work on it. Activate your alignment and activate your life.
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