I thought it might be fun to focus on twinned or complementary poses while the sun passes through Gemini, the constellation and sign of the twins. This week’s poses are two straightforward places to start.
But before getting into the poses, let’s think about our bodies and their symmetry or complements. Let’s consider duality within the body, or top and bottom, left and right, front and back, who we were when younger and where we are today. The latter embodies past, present and future: What you ate, drank and maybe smoked, how you moved, life experiences, and genetics that contribute to your present self and proportions, and likely trajectory (e.g., health or recovery from or progress of illness, weight loss or gain, stress, etc.).
Plus we often seek to resolve the mind/body split, achieving integration. We may refer to different hemispheres of the brain, conscious and unconscious, waking and dreaming selves. Perhaps we still think of the Freudian ego, superego and id. Or we refer to the side of us that is self-indulgent or playful contrasted with self-disciplined and work-oriented, imaginative versus practical, emotional versus reasonable, trusting versus suspicious, and so forth. That’s a lot of embodied dualism!
Our upper and lower bodies may have markedly different abilities, strength and flexibility, and “issues within the tissues,” meaning feelings buried within and brought to the surface with body awareness. The classic “problem areas” – although a negative label may not be helpful – are the shoulders and hips. We hold tension there, but it’s also were we can release with perhaps the greatest benefit.
There can be many differences between the left and right. Perhaps you hold one shoulder higher than the other, or one leg is more stretched or stronger than the other. Perhaps there have been accidents or other trauma, and uneven use (e.g., being right or left handed, or years of repetitive motion or stress) has led to asymmetrical changes. Or it started early in life, or you were born with physical asymmetry.
It’s common for the back body to feel somewhat numb. We see the front, and most of us are cognizant of our chests/breasts and groins. But other than the tush, the back may be ignored. What goes on back there? You have to make an effort to twist around to look or scratch at the reverse side of you. The tummy may protrude with little awareness that the corresponding continual tug on the spine is contributing to a slight hump or ache, or it’s happening from slumping forward to text and type.
Click to enlarge the photos below. See the full June 6 Moonday, of which this Sphinx Yoga post is a section.