The Things You Don’t Know about Yoga Movements
Moving Inside the Breath
Just as there is an invisible force that produces the organic symmetry of a towering pine’s branches, the spiral vortex of an ocean wave, and the endless cycle of days and nights that governs our lives, so, too, our human bodies are governed by intrinsically intelligent patterns. From the extraordinary moment when egg and sperm are ignited into being, our bodies form a design unlike any other that has ever been or will ever be through a wondrous process that is both a replication of an ancient blueprint and a uniquely individual expression.
Our cells multiply and divide, expanding and differentiating into the specific expression that makes us unique, condensing and disappearing back into this same matrix when we die. The inner scaffolding of bones, the tensile fiber of muscles, the processing organs, innervating nerves, and the oceanic fluid systems of the body are arranged into the symphony we call the human body. But these structures alone do not make a body.
Just as a light bulb is useless until it is connected to electricity, the raw substance of our body does not become human until it is infused with the force of life. This mysterious life force expresses itself through the projection of light from our eyes; it circulates the blood through our hearts and causes the ceaseless cycle of inspiration and expiration.
This life force also provides us with a blueprint for optimal movement in the form of universal movement patterns that govern all our actions. These patterns organize our intentions into effortless action. The patterns are programmed into our bodies to permit us to move with ease and power. Some arise as if by an internal time clock, just as we might expect a baby to begin speaking by a certain month.
Others happen through our desire to explore the world, the first push from a leg or reach of a fingertip taking us toward a beckoning father or colorful toy. They manifest as a series of overlapping and mutually dependent patterns, a language of movement that gives us kinesthetic fluency.
We see the underlying play of movement patterns all the time but are rarely aware of the content of what we see. We can identify a person with neurological disorders far in the distance because we are able to see that the pattern of their gait is different from the normal pattern we have grown to recognize.
The function of a symbol or pattern enables us to go beyond the limitation of seeing life as fragments and disparate parts and link these parts into a cohesive whole. While we could learn to walk by breaking down the activity into thousands of separate details, each of which are essential to succeed, this would be an impossibly difficult and frustrating way to go about the task. Rather, we learn to move through patterns.
When you find the “knack” of a movement, you have unknowingly found the cohesive movement pattern that was needed to support your action. Because many of the patterns, like the movement of breathing, are governed by lower brain function, reawakening them involves using a different part of the mind than many of us are accustomed to engaging. Unfortunately, most of us have been taught movement in an overly intellectual, one-step-at-a-time way, with some yoga methodologies breaking down the yoga postures into a minutia of points and details.
If you’ve ever tried to talk yourself up into a handstand by placing your shoulders and your wrists and your head—and so on—in exactly the right way, you know how frustrating this can be. It’s like going to a filing cabinet for the information but opening up the wrong drawer. When we learn through patterns, we learn through a more sensate, felt, experiential mode of exploration and discovery. To do this we have to open the mind, becoming childlike so that the body can reveal to us the knowledge with which it was born.
At first glance through any comprehensive yoga text it is likely the reader will be overwhelmed by the sheer number and apparent complexity of the yoga asanas and practices. Yet, because human movement develops logically, we can simplify and at the same time deepen our understanding of these amazing practices by first learning and integrating the underlying movement principles that encompass all movement. This is not merely a physical or mechanical process.
Each movement pattern and principle is directly related to an organizing pattern of consciousness. Thus, when you learn to breathe freely, you are also learning to think and live freely. When you learn a simple skill such as standing with ease, you learn about right relationship, trust, and the interconnectedness of all things.
When yoga was introduced to the West over a century ago, it was taught and adapted in a way that the objective Western mind could understand. While this objectification had the positive effect of planting the seeds of yoga in a new culture, some of the more profound and meaningful aspects of the practice have been lost or misunderstood. In large part what has been passed on and, unfortunately, continues to be propagated is the form of the practice without the living, vital contents.
The yoga asanas, while appearing relatively static compared to other movements, are actually dances swirling with internal motion. The form of each asana acts as a container for these subtle yet powerful internal movements. The untrained eye sees no visible movement, but on further investigation, an asana practiced in this vital way is easy to distinguish.
When a dancer moves, his actions take him into space, and thus his energy tends to be dissipated by his efforts. In yoga we direct movement inside the body so that its positive effects serve to cleanse and regenerate us. The key to rediscovering the original life of the practices does not lie in contrived, artificial techniques that we impose on the body, but rather in listening to and following the laws of the natural world.
I hope you may have got some new look inside yoga
Thanks and wish you good luck
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