Body Patterns and Spine Health.

This morning I woke up really feeling and understanding the scoliosis and rotation in my spine. You can't see it if you're just looking at me unless you're trained to look at bodies. But I can feel it now in the way that I sit, stand and practice. The thing that has truly made me most understand what is going on in my back is doing these handstands for about 200 days. My body always pulls to the left from the top of my handstand and yet seems to pull back against itself at the bottom because of the small rotation. It is said that your yoga practice is like a mirror, even handstands are very telling of what is going on within.

And now I know that my body stance and patterns have adjusted to my body structure by the way that I hold myself and lay down at night. Or that my body patterns have helped to create my body structure. When did it start, 10 years ago, 20, 30?

How do you sleep at night that might be indicative of something that is going on in your body? What body patterns are you creating or following that are reinforcing bad structural choices within you? Is there a stretch that is easy for you on one side that is difficult on the other? Does one shoe wear down more quickly than the other, in the front or the back? These are all questions that show how you hold your body and therefore, what the structure looks like inside.

I always sleep on my left hand side, with my trunk twisted, belly down with my right leg kicked out. That is just such a great resting place for my spine for however many hours I manage to stay in one position (if you didn't catch it, that's sarcasm). But, my my my is it difficult not to lay in that position when I try. I'm really curious, now that I am more aware of this, how much change I can bring about in my body by trying to correct my habits and by experimenting with yoga practices on one side vs. the other. I know it can be done, I just don't know how much is it that my spine actually naturally curves vs. the pattern that I've created for it? If it's patterning, I can make a lot of difference.

Anything that I can do to make my spine healthier and stronger now, you can bet your ass I'm going to as I've seen the effects that an unhealthy spine can have on your life. Your spine is "the river of life" as I've heard it called by yogi, Rod Stryker. If you lose that, life becomes much, much more physically difficult. Life goes on, of course...but I think that we all want to be as functional as we can for a long time to come. 

Making choices that support your best health, as you are now and can be in the future, is key. We all make choices every day, some of them are almost unconscious like the way that we sleep. Some of them are willful decisions almost against the body because we know what we do is bad for us. But once you know better, you CAN do better. Not to do so is just foolish... I know that some people make the choice to ignore what is going on in their body out of a refusal that their body can't do something that they are used to doing. I know that can be difficult, especially for Type A peeps. But living with a permanently damaged spine is so much more difficult than not doing the thing that you want to. For you and for those in your life who will have to take care of you later.

Back to my little scoliosis and rotation. Wish me luck on getting things...maybe a little more straight. Either way, knowledge is power. As long as you use the knowledge you have, of course.

Day 14 #justwrite #writingchallenge #writeeverydamnday #writeordie


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