The Stretch 3 | Month 3, Week 3

Your Attuned Movement for the Week

Pose How-To

Check out pages 212-215 in my book to learn more about this pose and how best to rest comfortably in it.

#BodyInvocation

May I welcome sensation

How easy do you find it to notice the noises, movements, rhythms around you? And what about within you? Here, too, there are signs and symbols, indications and notices. Here, too, there are notes from home and reminders of what to do. But they’re easy enough to miss in their quieter register. They ask us to lean in a bit, slow down, let ourselves be supported, and let go into that support. Feeling your back body in contact with the floor, exhale and drop in. Invite yourself into whatever awaits right here, right now, with this: May I welcome sensation. Seeing your body as an ally, a friend, as you incarnate, let this sensation be a way in. May I welcome sensation. As your breathing slows and your jaw releases, feel your wholeness, your basic goodness, your inherent worth. Let each intake of breath, each beating of your heart, each slight shift to get just a little bit more comfortable remind you of the power and beauty and wonder here this body as you say once more: May I welcome sensation.

Attuned Movement Invitation

There is such a universe in this pose. You can certainly follow the thread of your attention wherever it takes you in your body here. But I encourage you to try an experiment: find one thing and stay with it. See what happens, for example, when you notice a sensation in your right leg. Does it stay the same? Or does it shift? Does it stay right here? Or does it go away? The idea here isn’t to stay with this sensation no matter what, but rather to increase your awareness of how, and how quickly, sensations change in the body. When you feel complete with what you first started paying attention to, you can choose something else and see what happens that time around. Acquainting yourself with the movement and shifting states in your body can be such a help in navigating your body and life.

Attuned Movement Journaling Sheet

Your journaling sheets are great for this week. But they’re also great for the Rest/Integration month we have coming up. Use them to revisit some of our cards from this round of The Stretch, or choose some poses and invocations of your own!

Members

Your suggested video practices for the week are right here. And your guided meditation is here. Check out your other Studio resources for suggestions for your practice for the Rest/Integration month we have coming up.

Thank you so much for being with us this year! I’m looking forward to seeing what we learn and practice together next year!!

2 responses to “May I Welcome Sensation

  • This pose brings up a quandary I continue to have in yoga practice: there is a lot of emphasis in being in your body, assessing and getting curious about sensation, checking in with everything going on with every part of oneself. But I have a chronic illness, several issues which means I am in regular pain, day in, and day out…if anything, I have learned to ignore my body, distract myself from it so I don’t dwell on the pain, do everything in my power to think about something else (indeed, the medical profession encourages this – physio is excruciating, and we are taught to ‘ignore’ this). So where am I supposed to be? How do I approach positions and practice which require me to dwell on a body that is so damaged every breath is pain? I think I’m making inroads a bit because I am getting better at trying not to ignore my pain anymore; rather than push and push, I ease up, and assess every morning how I am feeling and adjust my day accordingly. It may not go with what my physio expects of me but it works to a point. I don’t hold out on taking my pain medication anymore; I just take it rather than wait for it to get worse. But I admit I still find myself struggling with my physical practice with asanas as trying to ‘come back to my body’ is sometimes more than I can bear to do.

    I’m not sure if there’s any answers or insight anyone can share on this, but it would be appreciated. It’s a difficult balance and I have no idea if I’m managing to hack away at it or just create more problems for myself, so any thoughts are welcome.

    • Ah, this is such a good question! Like you say, I don’t think there’s one particular answer to this. I think it’s more like each person has their own different answers on different days — that it’s quite individual.

      I think I can probably share best from my own experience. I had three separate years of my life where I had a migraine every day, so I relate to what you said about sometimes the very last thing you want is to pay more attention to your body when you’re in pain. I found that sometimes, usually when I was in a degree less of pain, that coming back to my body taught me something about my pain — what helped/made it worse, what it was like to breathe during it, how I could bring in visualization to help with the pain (along the lines of biofeedback), etc. It sounds like you’re experiencing some of this, too.

      But, some days? None of that was going to happen! At. All. Of course, some days I couldn’t (and can’t when I get migraines now) practice at all. Some days the best practice is to rest or do whatever helps. But other days it felt good to practice in some ways but I didn’t want to bring more attention to my pain. In those cases I think there are lots of options: letting your mind wander if that’s helpful, focusing your mind on something other than your body (a word, something on your mat or in your room, a visualization of your happy place, etc.). You could even find your own phrase to substitute when you hear something like “come back to your body.” That way it becomes your cue for something else, like a positive affirmation, a gratitude practice, or just “What the *&#$ is this lady talking about?!”

      I wish there was a concrete answer I could give, but in my experience, what you’re doing now is what also helped me: seeing what each moment/day is asking. It sounds like you’re really listening for when to shift position, to add more/less support in a variety of ways, etc. I think you captured it perfectly when you said it’s a difficult balance. The thing that’s always interesting to me about balancing poses in yoga is that they’re different every time I try them. I find that somewhat annoying sometimes, but also so true! I can never just pop into the pose and expect to find it the same as last I left it. I have to see what’s going on that day and adjust accordingly.

      Sending you much love — and, you can always email me if you have specific questions about how to adapt particular poses in a way that would be helpful for you. I’m always happy to do that! <3

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