Autumn is one of my favourite times of year. The leaves change into the most stunning hues of gold and burgundy. The days are still crisp and dry to enjoy exploring nature and crunching leaves underfoot. The cold dark nights creep in and we once again find ourselves reaching for our winter duvets and cosy blankets.
But the most important thing Autumn teaches us is, how beautiful it is to let go. As the trees shed their leaves, so too must we let go of anything that no longer serves us. In this block of classes, we will be letting go of chronic stress from our bodies & minds and you will be amazed at how this helps your back pain.
Stress is a term that is often thrown around and truthfully most people don’t know what it means. Stress is the physiological response of the body to a perceived threat or stressor and is designed to save your life.
Imagine you are leaving your house and you see a tiger coming towards you,
your body instantly perceives the threat and goes into the stress response also known as fight or flight. Your body is flooded with hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, your muscles tighten preparing you to run, your digestion and immune system switch off, so your energy is conserved for escaping, your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes shallower, your concentration is sharper as you plan your escape and you become hyper aware of your surroundings.
This will save your life. The problem is our bodies will respond to any perceived stressor as if its life threatening whether it’s an imminent attack from a tiger or an argument with a loved one, an illness or financial worries. Our bodies are well equipped to handle small doses of stress but when we remain in this heightened state of arousal is when stress becomes chronic, and we experience serious side effects.
Most people are unaware of how stressed they really are, but their breathing is shallow, their shoulders are up around their ears, jaw clenched, and tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. Before reading any further. Take a moment- slide your shoulders away from your ears, relax the jaw and tongue and take 3 nice slow deep breaths for me. Doesn’t that feel better?
In our practise this month, I have designed routines that will demonstrate how stress contributes to back pain. This will help you to see where you are holding on to tension or stress and allow you to gently let go and learn to relax. We will focus on the main parts of the body where stress likes to hide: our backs, neck, and shoulders. Also, included in this session is facia work to help rehydrate our stiff spines & improve our overall mobility. I will also be including poses debuted in my free workshop.
The Chinese believe that our backs represent our past, that which is behind us, and too many of us are holding onto the past, doing more harm than good. The last 18 months have thrown most of our lives into a tailspin but as life settles back to “normal” and we are left to pick up the pieces, many of us are holding onto intense fear, grief, sadness, anger or exhaustion. It’s time to forgive the past, accept the present and move forward. It’s time to let go.
I look forward to practising with you soon