615.419.3604 hilary@activeyoga.com

Your Lungs Begin at Your Legs. Inquiry and Experience.

The function of the lungs is enhanced by the action of the legs. Here’s why. The skin of the thighs is attached to the skin of the hips, the belly and the ribs. The skin is not just what you see but what is connected beneath the surface to the muscle, connective web and bones. Try this. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Take a generous inhale and full exhalation to observe that sensation. Now extend straight arms to brace the tops of the thighs forward. Take another generous inhale and full exhalation. Observe the sensation. I hope you notice that on the second inhale the belly draws down as the deep abdominal muscles stretch and you get a fuller breath.   On the next breath bring your attention to the upper back. Spread the chest and settle the outer shoulders back and take a full breath again still pressing the thighs. The legs anchor the diaphragm from below while the shoulders anchor at the top. May the breath satiate and please you!...

What Does “Move Energy” Mean in Your Yoga Class?

Energy is shrouded in mystery because we can’t see it. What we see and feel as the materialization of energy can be confusing as well.  Yoga is sometimes described as a method to manage energy. That refers to the energy of thought and intention. The means to that is physical energy because physical gives bodily sensation to something intangible. In yoga we create the sensation of energy by giving it weight. We contract muscles to create force. We synchronize the restriction and release of the muscles in coordination with the breath.  The first weight is made by the windpipe.  The breath becomes sensational and intimate as you orchestrate the narrowing of the windpipe to hear breath and feel it in a pleasing way.   There are also muscle groups that act as sphincters or round muscles. The constriction of those sphincters is sometimes referred to as bandhas.   Bandhas turn on as we create force along the spine, pelvis and shoulders by engaging the muscles of the limbs, buttocks and belly with precision to ignite our posture. The effort of the muscles will have varying effects on our spine depending on the pose. We are not just moving muscles and bones but corralling energy to become form.   Asana is the intensification of awareness. When that awareness dissipates we can escalate the movement of energy by tweaking the posture. We are moving energy. A finished posture is the eye of the storm. Force formed a shape to contain the quiet. Then energy no longer needed weight. You became the sum of that energy for the moment until something shifted...

Tangled Up Inside

Your body is a nervous system, a union of several nervous systems. The nerves transmit electric signals. You are an integration of communicators and receptors. Picture a cinematic disaster with bystanders and emergency responders frantically grasping for answers and direction. Does your body ever feel that way?   You are a bundle of nerves navigating uncharted territory every day. You are under stress. Wires overheat. Circuits go haywire. You want to manage the stress.  If you’ve recognized it you’ve done step one. Now what are the effects of the de-stressor you chose? You are high but is the stress gone? You’ve exhausted your muscles but is the stress gone? You relaxed but is the stress gone? You’ve eaten a cake but is the stress gone?  If not, where is it? Can you repair those hot wires?   Let them cool as you sit with sensation. Consider your choices. Approach as a novice. You are.  Approach as an intuitive being. You are. Test and re-test. It’s your computer lab. You keep the notations.   For your complex energy web.     Save Save...

The Cure is in the Poison

I’ve been hurt by yoga. Poses. Done wrong Imposed upon me By someone else Or me I didn’t go near them again. Not those anyway. But then I did. After a while. And I did them differently like tasting poison that could only kill me if I drank too much or too quickly. And I approached the poses like a frightened animal. Entered the poses remembering the first time and every way I knew they hurt me and I used them to put myself back together the way I was meant to be. Now that I...

Pour Yourself Into Your Self

  You are light as a feather, unsteady as a newborn calf. You are standing on feet untethered to the floor practicing your yoga. Gravity is not enough of an anchor. It has too little of you to hold on to. Pour yourself into yourself. Stretch to your width. Inhabit your depth. Release the tension that recoils from the floor. Let the ground embrace...