When your world has been turned upside down,
do you know how to put things right again?
When you are surrounded by chaos,
do you know how to regain control?
How do you respond to instability?
Do you have reliable strategies
to keep your life in balance?
How do you define "poise"?
If you're like most people, your old routine went out the window this year and you might still be trying to make peace with the "new normal." Your movement practice is the center you return to again and again to connect to your most basic resources.
But sometimes it's hard to find your footing - especially when you're only standing on one leg.
The truth is:
There's NO SUCH THING as "keeping your balance."
There is only the continuous challenge of regaining your balance - moment-by-moment - as you navigate the inherent instability of being an upright human being in a rapidly changing world.
- Does your current movement practice make you feel more prepared for tomorrow's headlines?
- Are you able to be an anchor when the people who need you are lost at sea?
- Is your current relationship to balance getting better or getting worse?
Maybe it's time to think about the way you move through the world from a fresh point of view.
Tree - The Upside Down Handstand
Tree pose is the perfect place to tap into stillness when your surrounding world is chaotic and uncertain.
The internal composure you develop in this yoga posture benefits your meditation practice - and your ability to remain calm in the storms of your everyday life.
Learning how to balance comfortably on one leg also improves your walking, your standing - and your handstand.
Reimagining Asana: Tree - The Upside-Down Handstand is a 6-week Feldenkrais workshop designed to refresh your yoga practice through a multi-dimensional immersion into the secret universe of Tree.
As your strengthen your Tree, you will also learn to:
- Use your breath to improve your balance
- Find the highest point on your hip for maximum stability over one leg
- Strengthen the muscles of your pelvis and groin to lighten the load on your back
- Expand support by connecting different body surfaces
- Clarify your midline for consistent centering
- Understand counterbalance (the yin/yang of stability/mobility)
- Develop 3-dimensional vision to anchor in space
- Organize your foot & ankle for maximum ground support
What makes this approach to yoga asana different:
- Using the posture to uncover structural biases in your skeleton, unconscious movement habits, and emotional blindspots
- Clear explanations of the relationship between the posture and the movements of your everyday life
- Non-goal oriented approach that makes space for you to find your own unique definition of the ideal
- Strategic use of improvisation and games to broaden your thinking about the posture
- Studying the posture in relation to principles of ideal human movement that apply anytime/anywhere
- Exploring the posture in multiple relationships with gravity to highlight the work of different muscle groups
- Learning to recognize and adjust for the emotional and/or psychological challenges in your movement practice
Check out what folks said about the previous Reimagining Asana program:
"I've been dealing with problems with my hamstring the whole time. Downward Dog has been causing me a lot of challenges in yoga class. The work where we used chairs has been very helpful. Working with the wall has been helpful. And I think it's been helpful for me in general, when I have been in yoga class, to find different ways of distributing my weight on my pelvis.
I'm just thinking with a bigger variety of possibilities."
"For me, I think it's been about an increasing awareness of the differentiation between the pelvis and the femur heads. I brought that awareness into walking, which is turning into a big theme for me as I get older. Especially the class we did about the space of where the femur head was in the socket. And in walking, I can visualize that much more which has been great.
"I was doing a circuit training class yesterday and jumping jacks was one of the exercises. I have a chronic left shoulder problem so I have to be careful. Then I remembered the lesson about extending the finger to bring in different muscles up through the attachment of the shoulder to the chest wall. And I tried extending my finger and thumb and the pain went away.
You know, you have these roadblocks from your injuries or age and all of a sudden, you find a little tweak, just a minor little tweak in how you engage muscle patterns and it solves real problems. Thanks for that enlightenment!"
"I’m really enjoying the classes. I think you’re a really responsive and interactive teacher. Nothing rote or same old same old. Good for you! It’s a real pleasure."
"Very creative, unlike anything I've done before. Thank you very much!"
"I've really enjoyed it. It has informed my yoga a lot. So I take a lot away with me, and I look forward to seeing you in the next next round."
THIS IS A SELF-PACED ONLINE COURSE.
Class #1: Breath & Balance
Improve your breath to improve your balance. A quiet, easy breath lays the basis for deeper listening, facilitating the sensitivity to feel how to make the necessary and continuous small adjustments to maintain stability over a narrow base of support. This will be a recurring theme moving forward.
Class #2: Prayer Hands
Bringing the palms of your hands together can evoke a feeling of prayer, the intention to connect with larger forces. Sensing yourself as part of a greater whole creates the opportunity for deeper grounding and attentiveness to all that moves you. Stillness does not arise at random, but from intention.
Class #3: Drishti
Your drishti - how you aim your eyes - helps you anchor into surrounding space. When your gaze knows how to orient in any direction - including behind you, sideways, above and inside you - your vision becomes a resource for your balance, especially when your two eyes contribute in equal proportion.
Class #4: Foundational Feet
Each of your feet has three arches that collaborate to create the foundation of your support. The shaping of this narrow patch of your being must be precisely tuned to the spiral pathway through your leg and up to the top of your spine. Learn how you can rely on the deep structures of your skeleton.
Class #5: Highest Point of the Hip, pt. 1
The top of your leg - the ball of the femur - is spherical. So there is one single point inside your hip joint where you stand the tallest and breathe most easily. Here is the fulcrum between top and bottom, the center of your seesaw. Your first challenge is simply to find it. Later you will learn to make it feel like home.
Class #6: The Bent Leg
To stand on one leg is to stand on one foot, one ankle, one knee, and one hip. Without the collaboration of these joints, the spine cannot attain its full length. This is true whether the leg is straight or bent, whether the foot contacts the floor or your inner thigh. Discover how to create more harmony between your joints.
Class #7: The Midline
The midline of your body divides left from right. But sometimes that line feels fuzzy and far from straight. To clarify the place inside yourself that is "not left and not right" is to discover a sturdier center, an ever-present reference point from which to tune your internal compass - even when you make an asymmetrical shape.
Class #8: Be a Tree
Tree pose invites you to assume non-human form. Not only does your arboreal nature have a different shape, it also has a different relationship to time. Learn to move as a tree does, how to express yourself through your roots, trunk and branches, with patience and strength.
Class #9: Moving Roots
To stand is to move - because balance is a never-ending game. To embody this reality skillfully is to sense how top relates to bottom, how your movement through space is imprinted on the soles of your feet. Tiny shifts below are writ large above. Add yet another layer to your understanding of dynamic balance.
Class #10: Highest Point of the Hip, pt. 2
Return to the highest point of your hip to explore more creative shapes over one leg. The space inside the joint resonates with every shift you make, from the gestures of your arms to the changing line of your spine to the swing of your other leg. Learn to lose your balance and find it again. And again. And again.
Class #11: Rooting Upwards
The soles of your feet sense the earth with each step. Investigate the richness of your neurological footprint and invite your foot to act like a hand. Stand on the ground and stand on the sky. How would a tree move if it was imitating a human? Explore the field of gravity through your own creativity.
Class #12: Highest Point of the Hip, pt. 3
This time the highest point of your hip becomes a place to dance. Pull together the threads of the previous chapters and plant the seeds of your new story. Look out on the world from a new vantage point, from a stronger foundation, that knows how to choose the best course of action for each unique moment.