YWA Move Day 23 – Soften

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YWA Move Day 23 – Soften

What a beautiful practice of softening is found in YWA Move Day 23 video from Yoga With Adriene.

Being day 23 of the ywaMove 30 days of yoga journey suggests being in a final phase.  A time to bring together the different qualities that have been generated.

Softness is important in embodiment, and I am grateful that Adriene highlighted it.

Of course there are certain yoga ‘styles’ and practices that really focus on softening – ‘yin’ yoga, restorative yoga, pranayama, savasana, yoga nidra and meditation.

It is fantastic to have softening focused on in a popular practice such as Adriene Mishler’s Youtube channel of free yoga videos.

Softening helps tension release.  This may not be immediate.  Practicing more than once helps it come, more and more.

Softening thoughts really helps me.  Softening around a painful nerve in my hip helps me.

Softening my attitude towards myself as I have emotional reactions also helps me:)

I do find that sometimes I want a more dynamic asana practice at the end of doing a short softening practice.

Still, it’s great to look with curiosity at where there can be more ease and softness in whatever ‘style’ of practice – in the body, in the mind, in the emotions.

I really have the utmost respect for yoga tradition as I increasingly uncover that both strength and softness are cultivated, that they are both always present.

This helps me experience that my body is soft and strong. It also helps me feel that I am a strong woman and a soft woman living in a patriarchy.   That is, I remember a gentle healing attitude while I feel that there is so much to be angry about.

I tend to have a light touch and a good pinch of salt with binary ideas such as ‘yin and yang’, ‘masculine and feminine’, as so much harm has been enacted in the name of keeping people in a binary frame.

I think feeling both soft and strong helps to steer clear from some of the more harmful territories these ideas can go towards.

Yoga props and accessories can help to access these qualities.

Bringing the floor upwards on blocks can help to feel strong rather than collapsed in a pose.  Laying a fragrant eye pillow over the eyes in savasana can amplify the softening relaxation process.

A little while back I had a phrase come to me during my yoga home practice – ‘soften, softly‘.

That is, even the way I intend to soften can be done softly.  The quality of mind can be soft – instead of ‘come on body, soften already, why aren’t you soft?’

Perhaps that helps someone.

Soften softly,

Annalise x

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