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  • Writer's pictureDayna Culwell

How about slowing down in order to reconnect

This weekend I invite you to join me in my quest to learn more in order to become a better yoga instructor/therapist. I was able to sneak out of my real world in order to study with my favorite mentor, Linda Lack, PhD who resides in Los Angeles, California. At a two hour forum yesterday, Linda, her students, and I shared many thoughts relating to how we feel about operating out of our bodies.

We get mad at our bodies for rebelling against us when we get sick, sometimes really sick, or injured. The body we’ve depended on suddenly starts screaming at us or simply shuts down. Is it that our bodies no longer care about our ability to function or, is the non-functioning body a way of informing us that we need to pay attention? Body non-functioning could be the body informing us.

Yoga therapy and movement therapy ask us to slow down in order to learn, through movement with hyper awareness, where the system is breaking down and how to get it back up to speed.

In working with Linda one-on-one, I worked with utmost concentration to do exercises that appeared to be so simple and easy. However, they were not at ALL easy, as you would have been able to tell by my very strong yoga breathing. My continued rotation in the spine throws my hip out of whack and causes intense pain off and on. Interestingly, and you may have experienced this, the pain was the most acute at night. Sure! When the brain finally gets to rest, the body can speak! The exciting part of our work together is when we do slow supine exercises that require most of the backside body to remain flush to the floor. How many times in class do I say, “Keep your shoulders heavy. Head is heavy, heavy. Velcro your entire spine to the floor. Don’t let the shoulders help.” These are all important principles that are critical for certain work involving front body muscles that support the neck, hips, and knees. The abdominals are prime partners with the spine. One cannot do its work without the other. When you do your slow yoga practice (or P.T. work), your body works hard or harder than if you’re skipping about. Each movement requires concentrated breathing (sometimes really loud breathing to get through the intensity!) One of the students in our class Saturday said beautifully, “Correcting body problems makes it possible to get obstructions out of the way. This helps the body to add up and accumulate important information and ability.” Jean Owensby.

breathing to get through the intensity!) One of the students in our class Saturday said beautifully, “Correcting body problems makes it possible to get obstructions out of the way. This helps the body to add up and accumulate important information and ability.” Jean Owensby.

Most of the work we did together on Sunday involved elongation of the entire spine, starting with the cervical spine. I’ll be sharing these with you starting this Wednesday! One of the reasons we struggle with a forward fold while seated is that our spines are all crunched up. As you sit crossed legged or open legged seating, imagine your chest moving slowly forward, not downward. The entire time, be thinking, forward. My chest is sliding forward. Don’t worry about where the head goes. The spine elongates first. The rest will follow. The opportunity for me is to give you more time to work through this process.

Fall is just around the corner. Will you be speeding up or slowing down? Which will serve you better? In one of our group discussions, someone brought up the fact that the problem with our leaders is that they only operate out of their heads. They are headless horsemen. They only speak from their heads while staying disconnected from their bodies. They come from their highest chakra without ever grounding their basic chakra.

Poetry and song flow best when the body is grounded. Let your thoughts flow but not until you become grounded.

I look forward to two more group classes and one more private with Linda on Monday. I’m traveling all day Tuesday in order to work with all of you (who care and who are interested in reconnecting with your bodies), on Wednesday.

Not until September 14th do we travel again. This time, my step-daughter Simone is getting married to a fine gentleman Sam Fidone. The wedding takes place at Amelia Island, so off we go again. Please treat yourself to a class or a private class before I go. All virtual classes and private sessions will continue while we travel.

Some of you have been out of touch during this whole long hot summer. We welcome you with open arms when you are ready to return. Consistency produces results. For those of you who have stayed loyal to your program, thank you! Your body thanks you too. However, you and I need to take time to talk about where you are today. Everyday, your body continues to change. We cannot assume that what was right for you a year ago is still what you need. I invite all of you to send me an email with what’s going on today. What parts of your body are speaking more loudly? This is your opportunity to whine, free and clear. It feels good to get it all out. Your frustrations present new ways of doing things so that you feel better in your body.

As a new parent, a new grandparent, a now single person, a now married person, now one year older than a year ago…. All of these time passages require thinking and feeling in new ways. Open yourself to what is possible. Let me help!


MONDAY makes me smile

10:30 a.m. Welcome Judy and Andy!

12 p.m. Delicious Deep Stretch

TUESDAY totally rocks

En route from Los Angeles to Austin, TX


8:45 a.m. Welcome Christina!

10:30 p.m. private appointment

12 noon Delicious Deep Stretch

1:45 p.m. Welcome Jenny!

3:15 p.m. Open!

4:30 p.m. Welcome Carol and Chris!

THURSDAY thrives

9 a.m. Welcome Christina!

10:30 am Welcome Belmont! (via video)

12 p.m. Perfect Posture Yoga

3:30 p.m. Welcome Susan J.!

FRIDAY freedom…. Ah.. and a long weekend

8:30 a.m. Welcome Paula and Susan!

9:45 a.m. Perfect Posture Yoga


Yes, we are open. Just let me know ahead of time if you’re available.

I appreciate you!! Dayna

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