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Discover your Side Body

In our day to day lives and daily movements, we mainly live in a forward-facing plane. We move forwards and backwards, with the occasional rotation of the spine if we are reaching for something far away. The side body is often overlooked and underutilized in our day-to-day life, which means that when we get into it in yoga, it’s usually pretty tight and there are some intense sensations!

In addition to loosening up some of those underutilized areas of the body, getting into the side body also teaches us how our sides work together. When one side of the body is lengthened or extended, the other side shortens and contracts. This is true for any two sides of the body – ie. hamstrings and quadriceps / biceps and triceps, etc. Next time you are in trikonasana (triangle pose), notice both sides of the body. The tendency is for the topside of the body to be much longer while the bottom side of the body is in a shortened position. The mind also likes to focus on the top side of the body, as that is where the majority of the sensation is. Instead, try to lengthen the underside of the body to the same length of the top side. Instead of one side being long and the other being short, find a sense of equanimity along both sides. Observe then not only what happens in the body, but also in the mind.

Finding a sense of equal in the body creates evenness and calm in the mind. And space. Lots of space.

When we create space in the body and mind – ask yourself:

What do I choose to fill that newfound space with?

Creating space in the body and the mind opens us up for new opportunities. Sometimes we don’t even know what we need to be asking for or moving towards. Just being open to possibilities, the journey, and discovering what unfolds along the way is enough.  

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