Every now and then I get supremely good yoga lessons from the most unexpected people. Last summer, for instance, I was in a small diner in the small town of Hailey, Idaho when I was introduced to a woman who was the reigning U.S. National Skeet Shooting Champion. We exchanged pleasantries, and I felt pretty tangential to the conversation that she and my friend starting having. But my ears perked up as soon as I heard her begin to explain that the secret to accurate skeet shooting was undoing. “Please, tell me more about that,” I said. Apparently it takes 22 impulse commands that must flow from the brain, through various nerve circuits, in order to innervate all of the appropriate muscles involved in squeezing the trigger and firing a shotgun. Conversely, it only takes 3 commands, which are inhibitory by nature, in order to let go of a trigger. So this woman had redesigned her shotgun so that the pellets were ejected when she released, rather than squeezed. As it turns out, undoing the trigger is inherently more natural, more efficient, and more relaxed than the conventional way of doing it.
How is any of that relevant to our newest releases? Undoing is one of the most important principles of the yoga practice. It is the necessary counterpart to the qualities of excess effort, stubborn determination, and rugged individualism with which our culture is so heavily endowed. It helps us get out of our own way, and it allows a deeper kind of intelligence to operate and circulate within the human system. Undoing is closely allied with space, and that is the key word in each of our new videos. Ease Your Knees presents simple and effective techniques for creating space in your knee joints, as well as for balancing your ankles and hips. This practice will help you to find deep relaxation in your legs, which translates into a calm tone throughout your nervous system. Meanwhile, we have a whole series of meditation practices, led by Stephen Josephs, which will reacquaint you with the space inside of your body, outside of your body, between thoughts, and between breaths. Many of you have requested more instructional meditation videos, so I am happy to finally offer them. I love Stephen’s approach because it is highly accessible, totally down-to-earth, and very forgiving in the sense that it is more about allowing and being rather than becoming and doing. Hope you enjoy!