Later, over lunch, she made a revelation. While she hated these shelves, she also realized that, in fact, her whole life had been lived like them: Highly functional and super-efficient but, with 'no mess allowed,' there had been little emotional flow or juiciness.
The reptilian part of the human brain is highly functional as its sole concern is survival. It sets habitual thoughts, patterns and behaviors. Its impulses tend towards the rigid, compulsive and ritualistic. And the nerves of the human reptilian brain link all the way to the psoas muscle (so-az), the core pelvic muscle that grows out of the thoracic spine and connects to our legs (see blog 'Juicy' 21 Nov 2013).
When the psoas is physically tight, as it is in our world of sitting in offices and cars, a fight-or-flight response is triggered that activates the reptilian brain. Yes, we can be efficient and productive. But the flip-side is that we're less willing to step out of tired habits -- on the contrary, we might cling to the very habits that hold us back -- and we can become emotionally unbalanced. In yoga, we directly work with the psoas to put the inner iguana back to asleep and move a little bit freer, with openness and playfulness, even if we make a mess or are running late.