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The Hips Don’t Lie

Did you know that hips hold emotion? I know, I know. I had a hard time believing it, too.
Emily Trotter, host of Nothin But Fine podcasts laughing while attempting to do yoga

I have been a yoga student for let’s say five years.  I have learned some things about my body.  Some things were surprises and others I was hoping to ignore into disappearance.  I have also learned that yoga is not just for the extra enlightened, extra skinny women so often depicted.  You don’t have to be tattooed.  You don’t have to keep up with the cycles of the moon to keep your crystals charged.  You don’t have to memorize or even know the names of all the poses, i.e., the asanas (see what I did there?  Snuck in my knowledge.).  I have no idea how to do the hand things. 

I have had some AMAZING instructors.  Also, a few okay ones and one absolutely horrendous one at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, AZ.  (In her defense she probably thought I was horrendous too.)  The amazing ones have taught me things beyond the actual yoga.  They would argue that those things were in fact yoga, perhaps the most important things. 

I’m sure you have heard that the body keeps score.  We store things in our bones and joints and sinews that we don’t even know we still carry around with us. I am talking about more than falls and sprains and strains and tears and breaks.

Did you know you can breathe into every corner of your lungs?  Your lungs do not have a flat back.  They expand in all directions.  If you can learn to breathe with all your lungs you will feel like a huge knot has been untied in the center of your chest.  I am working on this.  I just had to take a 360 breath to remind myself I can do it. 

Did you know that hips hold emotion?  That sounds like I made it up.  I know, I know.  I had a hard time believing it, too.  I am not talking about pounds.  Imma mind my business about the cause of those.  Although could be the same thing making your hips emotional.  Just sayin’. 

I have a tendency to be tight in my hips.  I am also hyper mobile.  It is a strange combination.  I can fling my leg out, yet I can’t.  When my friend/instructor told me I must be holding on to some things, I was skeptical.  Honestly I thought she had gotten a little too into the yoga bit.  But then a few things happened. I started talking to my counselor about things and she told me I had some trauma in my life.  I really disagreed with her.  I am not traumatized.  I am dramatic not traumatic.  So I read some articles.  Turns out I do have some trauma.  Admittedly its minor.  Look at me still trying to deny it.  Good grief.  But, I started noticing that when I was emotional or upset about something my practice was jerky.  I couldn’t do things like I normally could.  The stretch was not as deep.  My balance is worse than normal.  I just feel heavy.  Stress can do the same.  And worry.  I’ve mentioned my anxiety, right?

Emily Trotter, host of Nothin But Fine podcasts, laying down on yoga mat

Last week an accidental experiment happened.  I had been to yoga three days.  I was really feeling good.  Even though I had been out of practice for almost a month during the holidays I felt strong.  I was so proud of myself.  Then there was…I’m gonna call it a thing.  I’m pretty open, but I’m not going to spill all the beans here.  During the thing I realized that I was…feeling like I was 15 again.  Feelings that I had not had in a long time were right back on the surface.  No one was mean to me, I was not harmed in the slightest.  I just felt icky and down.  The next day I went to yoga.  I could barely do any pose.  I was so frustrated.  As the class neared the end it dawned on me that my hips were telling the story of what I was feeling.  I was extra tight.  Way off balance.  It was a light bulb moment.  I went to have a Pilates session with Helen and we talked about the emotions and how incredibly tight my right hip was.  She could see it.  We stretched.  I felt better.  Whew I had worked some of it out.  And then I went to yoga this morning and I literally fell down trying to do tree pose. Y’all, tree pose is not that hard.  There are lots of modifications.  I did not hurt myself.  I just laid there and then I started to cry.  There had been a lot of hip work in the lead up to the tree pose.  My hips had finally released some tension.  I hadn’t felt like crying about my 30-year-old “trauma”.  I didn’t know I needed to.  My hips saw things differently.

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