Hips | 14 Days of Peace
From Travis Kā’eo
An in-depth look into practice
For day two we work into our hips, the emotional storehouse of our body.
Let’s go back in time for a moment to early civilizations of hunter gatherers. Imagine being in the wilderness looking for food – maybe even collecting berries. All of the sudden, you see a lion charging at you, or gazelles stampeding, or even a flash flood coming. The initial reaction is to turn and run. The muscle that is responsible for running? Your hips.
That is why your hips, specifically your iliopsoas, is called your fight or flight muscle. In moments of anxiety and scare, the muscle tightens up lifting your leg off of the ground in preparation to run.
Fast forward to today. We are no longer being chased by animals around the wilderness and yet every time we get a stressful email or read an upsetting bit of news, the reaction in our bodies is the same. Our iliopsoas contracts in preparation to run – except we don’t. We don’t run. Maybe if we did we could at least justify the tightening of the muscle or maybe have a way to release. Instead we sit with the stress and it accumulates.
This practice, this day provides an opportunity for you to let go.
Animals, after they survived a chase in the wild, have a ritual to let go of all the stress and even physical tension they accumulated throughout the chase. They don’t carry what has happened to them into there present moment – they can’t. Because if they are still scared or tense from their last chase, they won’t survive their next. Animals are very present creatures.
However, somewhere along the lines of evolution, we lost that capacity to release and be present. We hold on to things in the past and although we may be “surviving” in the technical sense, we are hardly living if we hold on to the past. We definitely aren’t living in the present.
Use these thirty-four minutes as a way to be present and a ritual of release so you can move on to survive the next chase.
If theres one thing that is certain about life it is that it will be chase after chase after chase. We cannot change the nature of life – all we can do is set up the proper rituals that allow us to live rather than merely survive.
Enjoy your living,
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Śvanāsana)
- Crescent Moon (Aśta Chanrāsana)
- Half Splits (Ardha Hanumānāsana)
- Mountain Pose (Tādāsana)
- Wide Leg Forward Fold (Prasārita Pādottānāsana)
- Warrior II (Vīrabhadrāsana B)
- Reverse Warrior (Pārśva Vīrabhadrāsana)
- Extended Side Angle (Utthita Pārśvakonāsana)
- Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonāsana)
- Half Pigeon (Eka Pādā Rājakapotāsana)
- Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konāsana)
- Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanāsana)