Monday, December 12, 2005

Adjust Your Mirrors, and Your Spine

I came out of yoga class tonight, sat in my pickup truck and looked at my rear-view mirror.

Guess what I saw? I sure didn't see the road or any cars behind me. I saw only the inside of the bed of my truck!

I got up a 5 o'clock this morning and drove to St. Louis. I worked from my company's St. Louis office for most of the day and then drove back in time to teach two classes tonight. That's more than 5 hours on the road.

You probably know that driving is stressful. I've been told that driving while talking on the cell phone is even more stressful. Well, I'd been doing both.

My response to the stressors of the day was a slow and powerful, insidious grip. Grip compresses. Literally. My spine literally compressed. I got shorter.

How do I know? After I got stretched out from yoga, I had to adjust my rear view mirror so I could see over the tailgate of my truck. I was taller!

So practice yoga regularly to reverse or minimize the effects of stress on your body, even the ones of which you're not aware.

What a surprise! I didn't even know I had shortened my spine...and probably my lifespan.

If you're planning a long car trip over the Holidays, be sure to also plan regular breaks to get out and stretch. Once you arrive at your destination, do yoga. I recommend some inversions so you'll feel refreshed, too (assuming you already practice inversions).

Oh, and watch for signs of stress. The Holidays can really get to you.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., I know people who get busy during the Holidays and quit coming to yoga classes. They quit practicing, too. I also know people who believe they wouldn't survive the Holidays without extra yoga classes and extra home practice. Don't give up on yoga, just when you need it most.

p.p.s., Lying down for 20 minutes in the afternoon also makes you taller! The intervetebral discs get a chance to rest and restore when you recline.

If you're afraid that a 20 minute nap will leave you groggy and sluggish for the rest of the day, don't nap. How about 20 minutes of savasana, the corpse pose! You'll be calm, alert, and as productive as you want to be for the remains of the day.

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


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