Aligned and Tuned Up
As the sun rose on an unusually warm February morning we made our way to Evolution Yoga for a practice that would be anything but the usual Vinyasa Flow. By the time Sandy Gross was ready to start, the studio was packed and it was great to see many new faces in addition to the regular 52 Weeks Crew that has been steadily growing.
With an anatomy skeleton hanging in the front of the room, ropes on the walls, lots of balls and other props in bins, the comment was made that the room looked like 50 Shades of Yoga.
“Yoga Tune Up® is a fitness/yoga therapy format that helps eradicate pain, improve posture and enhance performance through a unique blend of corrective exercise, self massage, yoga & stress reduction techniques.” ~ Sandy
As we lay on our mats in the beginning of class she ask us to set a “Sankalpa”, which is an intention for our practice. This could be one word that you focus on throughout your practice that allows you to stay present and at the same time create a powerful energy that you can take off your mat and radiate out into the world in which you create. Learning to set an intention daily is very self-empowering. Sandy hit upon something that really resonates with our mission at YCYW of empowering others when she said, “I’m going to help you discover where your blind spots are and show you ways to work on them”. It wasn't long into the practice and out came the balls ”you can’t have to many balls” was the message as laughter filled the room, humor is an amazing thing!
As we all worked on different parts of our bodies, abdomen, shoulders and back you could really feel tension release and things open up. What stood out to a lot of us was how much tension we carry in our backs. Once we rolled the balls up and down each vertebra you could feel it all start to release. This class was more like an educational self induced physical therapy. Sandy used formal anatomy verbiage so we knew we were in good hands. She had a way of posing the different practices we were doing so that you could visualize in your mind the particular muscle or body part. She finished the class with Yoga Nidra which left us feeling calm, clear and focused. We felt amazing physically, mentally and emotionally.
We spend money to tune up our cars and then when it comes to our bodies we choose to go to the doctor and get a pill that takes care of the symptom while creating additional side affects in another area of our bodies. When we spend time and learn how to keep our body tuned up we are able to really enjoy this adventure!
"Alignment is more than just muscles & bones or attaining some sort of physical perfection; alignment is connecting with your breath, aligning or connecting your higher self, then notice how connecting with others gets easier. It IS connection. Yoga can change your life. To downplay alignment in your practice is to miss opportunities to practice yoga ~ becoming a better friend to yourself, to others, to the world." Sandy Gross