Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aim True - Day 18

Happy Shoulders
Level 1
Kathryn Budig

This everyday shoulder sequence is a great way to help flexibility and release build up tension from the day. Put this into your daily routine to keep happy, open shoulders. 
  • Posted on YogaGlo on January 21, 2012, I took the class for the first time today.
  • 18/87 classes complete.
  • 10/18 I had taken at least once before.
I had seen this on YogaGlo for the past week, and sort of figured it was a play on the sequence that Kathryn has had up on YouTube for a couple of years. I actually have the YouTube version of this posted on my website (and I'll include it below, too) because I teach the sequence fairly often and always hear from my students that it's exceedingly helpful for them - so I wanted them to have easy access to practice it at home, too.

I actually had no intention of practicing today, but yesterday my shoulders and neck started feeling kind of tweeked and bothered, and this class is only fifteen minutes, so I went ahead and did it - in my pajamas instead of yoga clothes, no mat in sight.

Here is my confession - although I teach and (try to remember to) practice these shoulder openers fairly often, I hate them. Why? Because I'm not good at them. Don't be too alarmed, but just because I teach yoga doesn't mean that everything about yoga comes easily to me. I like things that I am good at doing; any pose that showcases my limber hips and hamstrings or my super strong quads rocks my world. It's not even showing off for other people, I swear - because of where I live, I almost only practice alone. I suppose it's showing off for myself in some way, shape or form. But I'd guess most people gravitate toward, and enjoy more, things that they are good at doing. I majored in political science and minored in religion in college because I liked the classes. And part of the reason I liked the classes was because I was better at writing and talking about political theory and world religions than I was at doing chemistry.

I'd be interested if other people find this to be an intense sequence. It probably depends on how open your shoulders and arms are. I'm in the midst of an inquiry surrounding my shoulders. I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I've recently come to the conclusion that though I can force my arms into something that looks like yoga mudra arms (fingers interlaced behind the back, arms pressed toward straight and then up and away from the body) I don't think I was actually in any semblance of proper alignment, and I think I was putting crazy pressure on my elbow joints to get there. And I can't clasp my hands in Gomukhasana arms to save my life - I have to grab onto my clothes or use a strap. Oh well.

It bothers me a lot, though, my lack of openness in my shoulders. I am insanely jealous of how incredibly open Kathryn Budig is in her shoulders (she's actually ridiculously flexible everywhere, let's be honest.) My ex-boyfriend also had incredibly open shoulders - in fact, I think he could choose to dislocate them and then put them back somehow - but that was kind of weird to see. But alas, I wasn't blessed with that ability, which probably means I need to be doing this 15 minute class every single day.  And I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try to do this sequence on my own every night.

Here is the shorter (and free!) YouTube version of the above class. Let me know if you get a lot of stretch and sensation with these shoulder openers!

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