With mindful awareness and building on our practices from Days 1-3, Peter guides us in a sequence to invite ease into the body, while introducing standing postures. After our warm up, we move through a series of standing postures to find opening and strength in the legs, IT band, hamstrings, ankles, and feet.
I wish "pain-free" was a one-and-done kind of thing, but, no, each day is a new "adventure." That said, I appreciate the opening and unlocking these exercises allow, in the hips, especially. Thank you!
Hi Ivana The Opening Sequence came to me from years of observing the limitations I felt in my body each morning as a sat on my mat wondering what to practice that day. Here are the "usual suspects" for the common limitations I felt back then (mostly prior sport injuries) and probably would feel again if I stopped practicing the Opening Sequence before the more dynamic parts of my practice - herniated disc L5/S1 and lower back pain (child's pose and all of its variations); sciatica (seated cross leg pose and its variations); frozen shoulders, rotator cuffs tears, degenerative disc C5/C6 and arthritic neck (seated arm, shoulder & neck sequences);
carpal tunnel, sprained fingers and wrists (seated hand and finger exercises, wrist exercises with variations in lion & peacock poses); fractured metatarsal and talus, bunions (foot & toe exercises); torn medial meniscus (kneeling poses, active squats balancing on toes); chronically tight hamstrings (standing & kneeling forward bends); inguinal hernia surgery scar tissue (lunges and twists); abdominal surgery scar tissue (backbends, twists, and belly churning with fists). I feel like I'm leaving out a few but hopefully you get the picture. I used the limitations in my body as a guide or pointer to where imbalance was in my body and where more of my presence was required. Most of what I did in terms of exercise was uncomfortable and I had to make a mental switch how I felt about being uncomfortable.
What this 7-day challenge is about is changing our relationship to pain - see it as a gift, and an inspiration to be more creative in how we move and "exercise" with pain. The first step is being present, and then moving into your discomfort as softly and consciously as you can regularly, and resting when you need to - when maybe you have overdone something and need a temporary break. Consistency is the key, and what I learned very early is the best remedy to heal pain is to allow yourself to feel "a little bit" every day, until it is no longer there physically and mentally.
Thanks for taking the time for an extensive reply Peter - it gives me much stronger understanding of why these poses in particular. Also emphasises for me the importance and benefit of self awareness and catering one's personal practice to one's specific needs.
Hi Pam You're welcome! I am writing my first book at the moment and the questions from the challenge have been so in-sync with the direction of my writing. Its been amazing, universe working perfectly. I'm happy you had a positive experience with the challenge... Stay tuned for the book (September 2018 with Sounds True)
My body feels full of space and light after this practice! As I moved through, watching my mental process was interesting. I have practised primarily in the Astanga Vinyasa system (as presented by Richard Freeman and Marcia Solomon). Being asked to move in different ways always seems to generate a little resistance! But this is good - it's the friction that creates tapas... Now I'm going to dissolve in a very long savasana, if you'll excuse me...