Grace in Gravity: Yoga & Rolfing
by Ashby Underwood-Garner

When you hear the word “graceful,” do you think…that’s just not me? 

 Most of us do!  I can think of other words for graceful –  refined, balanced, easeful, integrated and flowing.  The truth is that graceful movement is the key to less pain and better function in the body for a lifetime.  And it’s available to each of us, no matter our physique.  

Watch a baby move.  Her developmental patterns are smooth, joints are strong and flexible, and you can see her contend with gravity to crawl then stand.  We’ve all been there! 

Gravity never takes a day off, so it is important to learn techniques and tools to keep yourself uplifted. We can’t see gravity, however the shape and function of our physical world is determined by gravity.  We often interrelate by referencing the downward pull of gravity – “feeling run down,” “let down,” and “down in the dumps.”

This signals the fact that you’ve lost the feeling of lift.  Fatigue, stiffness, imbalance, compression of joints and wearing away of cartilage in the body ensues.  But how do you become lifted again? How do you make the shift to “things are looking up and on the rise?”

Try this:  Sit closer to the ground.  Take 20 minutes to stretch out on your back and sink down. Or put your legs up the wall in a supported inversion. Reverse gravity. Practice conscious breathing to relax.  Feel the renewal when you stand.

Want more?

Take an alignment-based yoga class or schedule a Rolfing Structural Integration session to decompress.  Hands-on work can give you a wonderful feeling of new alignment that you might not achieve on your own.  Guidance this way is invaluable and can improve overall confidence and vitality.  When our bodies are better aligned, we move more from our natural center.  From center, we can be better problem solvers, achieve physical prowess, and people comment on our relaxed glow.

Grace and gravity go hand in hand.  Our relationship with gravity, whether we are struggling and tired or balanced and uplifted, is the one physical reality that we must navigate, all day, every day.

Ashby Underwood-Garner is the owner of Yoga Highlands and offers private sessions.  She has studied Rolf Structural Integration and movement potential for 18 years with her partner Chad Garner.  Ashby collaborates with friend Mary Abranyi/ Cashiers Valley Fusion to host wellness retreats (locally and abroad).  With a staff of seasoned teachers at both studios, the opportunity to practice, learn, and discover your best self is right in your mountain town.