Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ankle and Shin Loop

I have been going tele skiing once a week this winter and it has been such a treat to get out into the winter wanderland of winter here in Utah. One of the techniques I have been working on to improve my tele skills is lower leg work, manipulating my feet and shins so that I am physically and mentally more calm.

What my tendency to do while skiing is straighten my legs completely while leaning back puting my weight my calf muscles into the back of my boot. When I take this lower leg alignment I am a disaster. I throw arms and polls in the air trying to keep balance and my mind parasymethetic (flight or fight) responnse kicks on becuase I feel unsafe.

The "proper" leg work is to weight into the four cornors of your feet, bend the knees enough to weight the shins into the front of the boots. This is what the gracefull skiiers do, and as a result their legs can be doing so much twisting, turning and bouncing but the upper body looks poised and calm. This reminds me of yoga so much and how we do various alignment to support our inner body better.

So why dont I always bend my knees slightly and weight into the front of my boots and experience that gracefullness? Becuase it is scary! I start like this but then I gain more speed, have the deluded thought that ill shift my weight back to gain more control, which ultimitely leads to me being even more outof control. However when I am using the good skiers alignment not only does my torso stay lifted and calm but my mind is so content and relaxed.

This technique is something that I am reminded of everytime I go skiing and everytime I think about Anusara Yoga and how much this relates to the brilant primary and secondary principles that founder John Friend created. More specifically shin loop.

Shin loops starts at the base of the shin goes up and lifts up the claves, presses the top of the shins forward, and then flows down the front of the leg to the starting point and the base of the shin. This is the same action you do while skiing. It reminds me to take actively engage, participate and lean into my life, as oppsoed to leaning back, doing the minimal amount of work and in a way leaning back and away from life.

I taught a class with a focus on shin loop at Sugar Space on Saturday. We shin loop in conguncture with tons of ankle loop since ankle loop preseeds shin loop and we always start and the foundation and move up.

Uttanasana (with blanket)
Low L quad
Mod. Parsvak -> scandasana
Utthita Pada A Prep.
Tad. Quad Stretch- Natarajasana
Ardha Chandrasana
Ardha Chandrasana Chap.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Baby Craddle -> Angi Stambasana
Uptivista Konasana

I wrote a blog about this two years ago:

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Intention and Testimonials

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