Renewal, Rebirth, and All That Jazz
"Sprong" is not a real word. I just figured you are probably aware spring is coming and have enough ads in your email about it. I also thought reading about spronging your hips open might make you curious enough to open the email. Did it work?
But I'm not done talking about spring, because it's my favorite, and the Hellebore flowers pictured above are my favorite harbinger in spring. They actually start pushing up through the snow ("What's snow?" says all of New Jersey) in January and start blooming in February. The leaves are evergreen, and though scraggly and worse for the wear by March, they power through and support the beautiful new blooms. Nice analogy for the human condition, right?
So here we are in March, with all the symbolism of spring. We awaken from our winter energetic slumber to rejuvenation and inspiration. Maybe to you this looks like getting outside more, taking on new creative projects, or rekindling connection to friends and family. Whatever it is, let your heart feel the energetic shift the longer days bring, and see where it takes you.
This month in yoga, I'm focusing on hip opening poses during Gentle Flow Yoga class at Riegel Ridge Community Center. I am also teaching a four week Chair Yoga series at the Hunterdon County Library. If you're catching spring fever, and looking to expand your body and mind, join me at either or both!
Why Do Hip Openers?
The hips are the physical and energetic gateway of the body. Muscles in the hips, specifically the iliopsoas muscles, are triggered during the "fight or flight" mechanism in response to stress. When the mind senses danger, the brain releases chemicals that prepare the body to defend itself from attack. Our bodies regularly kick into this mode by non-life threatening events, like worrying about work, getting startled by a barking dog, or forgetting to send in the school permission slip. The hips contract in preparation, and yogis believe the emotion connected to that stressful event gets trapped in the body in those chronically contracted muscles. (To read more about the psoas and the nervous system, click here.)
If all that is a little too "hoogety boogety" (my husband's term), consider this. Many hip muscles connect the lower spine to the pelvis and upper thigh bones. Tight or weak muscles in the hips can be the cause of low back, hip, and even knee pain and instability. That means we are affected by tight hip muscles in simple movements like walking and standing up, and even when we are perfectly still.
In my yoga classes, we combine hip releasing poses with hip strengthening movements to help these muscles release tension and build stability. On Facebook and Instagram this month, I will share tutorials and movements that will help you practice at home and in a chair. If you don't do the social media thing, I will share the same posts on my website blog page. Hip openers can be practiced by every BODY at any level of experience and ability.
Free Chair Yoga At the Library
Please register for this event directly to the Hunterdon County Library Headquarters by calling 908-788-1444 or CLICK HERE to register online. The main headquarters library branch is 314 NJ-12, Flemington, NJ 08822.
I want to share with you the yoga I practice, teach, and live.