After a warm-up run to the top, I rolled out my well-worn yoga mat, stood with my hands pressed together in front of my heart and focused on breathing in the fresh mountain air. The wind danced about, embracing me as silk ribbons would swirl around a dancer. My hair blew this way and that, quickly losing itself from my poor efforts with the hair elastic. Despite the few tourists and rock climbers scattered about, I was able to lose myself in the beauty of the mountain.
As I moved through my vinyasa, each breathe brought me closer to that inner calm so cherished by the Dalai Lhama and yogis everywhere. But today, I was working on opening my hips. Specifically, I was focused on stretching the tops of my femurs laterally outward in the hip socket. Moving through Warrior I & II, through Star Pose and onto reverse Warrior, I could feel my sockets opening wider and wider. By the time I leaned forward from pigeon, I could feel the tears falling down my face. My body had found freedom.
But why, why is this freedom, this openness so important? As a skier, the awareness of each bone within the skeletal structure creates a new opporunity for acheivement and grace. While skiing, I am able to rotate my femur bone inward and then stretch it ouward, providing me with greater flexibility of movement within the turn. Basically, I have the ability to make minute adjustments to my movements rather than merely flopping down the trail. I am in control.
As a female skier, I can rely on the placement of my femur bone in the hip socket rather than increasing pressure on vital knee ligaments (ACL/MCL/PCL). During my developmental years - high school - I was popping an entire bottle of extra-strength Advil to reduce the swelling and numb the pain in my knees. My lack of body awareness meant I was angulating from the knee, increasing the Q Angle and creating distracting pain. Now that the shape of my turn comes from the femur angle within the pelvis, I have been pain free!
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
Location:Deer Leap, Killington, VT