Last night, I was practicing at Thrive Yoga and I felt as if I was fighting against a head wind. My balance was off and my feet did not seem to fall into alignment. My calves were tightening up. My legs were heavy. With all these mixed signals from the ground up, my hips had lost their bearings. As I struggle through the class (great job, Dorota Preysnar), I tried to feel out where the problem was coming from.
Then, it came to me. The biggest change since the end of my yoga teacher training (YTT) last Thursday, has been a shift in my sitting habits. Yesterday, I had spent the full day working in front of my computer monitor and keyboard. During YTT, I would have been sitting cross-legged, propped up on a blanket or bolster, for at least three hours a day, maybe more. My hips screamed in anguish at times (learning Sanskrit with Pierre Couvillon), but I had experienced a major improvement in my hips (actually, an on-going shift accelerated by YTT).
I used to have a kneeling chair at my computer, but I had to give it up because the pressure on my shins was cutting off circulation to my feet. Now I sit on the edge of a normal office chair. Now no longer working at an office, I broke my habit of taking frequent breaks and stretching my legs.
Over the past five days, I have not been actively finding opportunities to sit cross-legged. I am going to have to switch some of my computer time (reading e-mails, web browsing, reading, using my laptop or a tablet) and TV watching to a cross-legged position on the floor. I need to keep up the practice or my tissues will return to their old alignment — or worse.