Saturday, November 28, 2009

That's a Stretch

Now that I am a lady of a certain age (45 to be exact, although you could mistake me for 43, easy)I find that my back tweaks more easily. I've always been told that wheelthrowing is bad for the back, but that doesn't seem to be the trouble for me. I throw sitting down with my right foot on the pedal, my left leg bent so my foot is a little behind me, and my arms close to my body. I never seem to feel any discomfort after a day of throwing.
Glazing, now, with all its bending and lifting (those five gallon bucket -- whoa!) can cause some aches, as can teaching my classes. Beginning classes are especially tough, as after my demonstrations, I am constantly kneeling, bending, and reaching to correct hand positions. Also, the studio where the classes are conducted has concrete floors: great for easy clean up, but hard to stand on for hours.
I've found that what I call "half-assed and homemade" yoga helps more than I would have believed! Actually I usually call it "stretching" to my students, as the word "yoga" sounds a little intimidating. I used to picture this when I thought of yoga:
I thought yoga was something that required a rubbery, superhuman flexibility. Well, you know how beginning pottery students will often bewail their lack of skill? My answer is always: "You aren't supposed to be good at it. That's why you are taking a class." Yoga is the same: you don't start out flexible" you get there eventually. Nor is there any moral imperative to ever get good at it: you do as much as suits you, and no more.
What suits me are a few very easy poses that, done for just a couple of minutes each day, eliminate back discomfort for me. YMMV, obviously.  These poses ought to erase the idea that yoga is too hard!

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