It’s a tough world out there: sitting through long commute and work hours, standing and walking on hard surfaces. Faced with these daily work/life balance challenges, it’s not surprising that at least 80% of Americans will experience back pain at least once in their lives.
Memorial Day is a day of reflection for me.I think about all those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrific for our country, allowing us to live freely and make choices. Choices we often take for granted. We are very lucky for their service and what it brings to our lives.What does this have to do with your fitness? Those choices that we are granted, give us the opportunity to change our lives every single day.
Whether you are old or young, fit and healthy or guilty of a few bad habits, pain can affect people from all walks of life and strike any area of the body. The back, neck and shoulders are particularly vulnerable and even everyday tasks can take their toll on the body. Those who are also regular exercisers, disabled or recovering from injury may also have to deal with their fair share of pain.
“Blink!... Blink!” ordered my ophthalmologist. Two ophthalmologists checked my eyes for nearsightedness, complete with the eternal question, “Which is better? One? Or two?” Turns out I needed a daily dose of eye drops, especially working in windy Foster City. Otherwise I could see perfectly fine.
If you were hunting or gathering in the forest a couple of thousand years ago you would need to adopt a practice of taking great care of the plants that were poisenous, and the animals that considered you as a potential meal. While a bear or a lion is unlikely to jump on you from behind the bakery counter there are plenty of traps and poisens. The same self protective way of being is helpful when you food shop today.
One of the common themes of yoga is balance (physical, mental, spiritual). One of the common themes of my teaching when I am thinking about our connection downward to the earth, and the way we lift upward with control is the strong triangle. Shavasana is one of the major postures chosen for rest because it requires little muscular tension to maintain. Cat position may be hard if one's knees are compromised, but try lifting one limb and you can feel how you begin to tighten to hold the position. Lift two and this is more difficult.
When we think new year we think new beginning. That's a good thought but do you want to know a secret? We don't have to wait till the new year because each and every day gives us the opportunity to make change. It has to be important enough for you to make the change. You have to WANT to change. Change is hard. We struggle with it daily. I know I have these debates in my head about what I'm going to to change and stop doing or start doing and then my weakness tries to convince me otherwise. It's a constant struggle but within that struggle I realize I am getting stronger.
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In life we are faced with many challenges whether we see them coming or not. Sometimes we see them coming and we high tail it the other direction! It is best not to force ourselves to meet the challenge but rather tackle it head on when we are ready. So, how do we know we are ready? Very good question. You do realize there is no magical answer here right? No one size fits all solution. We spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves to the people that surround us and send negative messages to our inner being. We need to remember that we are not all built the same.