Updated: Mar 8
I want to say just a few things about reaching. Reaching your arms over your head, reaching your heels for the wall, reaching your head up and your tail down, reaching your chest forward, etc... There's so many places on the mat where we're asked to reach. At least that's been my experience. I used to reach with everything I had. I used every ounce of energy I had not just so I could accomplish the pose for my own satisfaction but also to please the teacher and to be seen, validated.
But here's the truth, 20 plus years later, reaching with such effort has ended up not feeling so great. Aches and pains and cumulative limitations on my body over time made me really question how I was approaching the practice. Body Mind Centering has taught me that the reach must be supported by our relationship with gravity first, then anti gravity (the opposing, rebounding force) travels through us and moves us in a way that supports reaching into space effortlessly. It's real and amazing! And it's changed how I move, how I think about movement, how I see movement and how I feel in my body.
In the video below, I'm practicing danurasana/bow pose, with a little homolateral movement to wake up my spine. The more that I yield to the earth AND to the space inside myself, the more I'm able to reach with zero strain, calm, presence and shear joy. Let me know what you see!