John Started the class by asking for questions...
Someone asked the question:
“How would you teach abdominals without interrupting the apana vayu (downward moving energy)?"
John responded by saying that most people (especially in the west) consider the core to be the rectus abdominis “six pack”. But really the core is the vertical channel that runs through the core of our body. It is from this subtle vertical channel that our physical body is building upon. This subtle body can be thought of as an etheric double. The core of our body, this energetic channel isn’t just vertical and straight has spanda (pulsation of prana).
We talked about how we don’t have anything in our body that is perfectly straight. Everything has a curve like our spine. Our spine can hold tons of weight if you use good alignment which holds the natural curvature of the spine for example in sirsasana. But if you were to straighten out the spine and then make it weight bearing that would be very unsuccessful. So cool. When John was talking about this I was thinking about how straight is similar to perfect. If you have a curve and you want to make it straight, you want it to move in a way toward perfection. However, john was pointing out that perfection isn’t straight. I feel like in my life I strive for perfection but this reminded me that perfect is never straight we become not perfect but more fully our self when we align with our uniqueness, our curves and the curvature of our spine.
Back to the original question. Most people (especially in the west) think of the core as the rectus abdominis, so they really work that area which makes the front of the belly tight. This tightness will pull the tailbone under. But people also tuck there tailbone under so their booty doesn’t look as bad. When you tuck the tail bone under like this you make your back flat which hurts the ligaments between the discs which can make you more prone to disc problems. Fun Fact: L5 SI is the most commonly injured dist for this reason. This tucked action and flattening of the back causes prevents the energy to go down and ground toward the earth (apana vayu). This disturbs the downward flow of energy and causes energetic and physical constipation, agitates the nervous system, feeling unsure, unconnected, anxious, nervous, ungrounded…
(I was so immpressed that this question guided the whole asana practice. We worked strongly on open to grace and inner spiral and outer spiral so we could feel the grounding quality and the flow of apana vayu while created dimond strength of the core)
“when we line up with life the beauty happiness”
We then talked about where the soul is located body?
How some philosophers say it is in the head, but when you take that view the head becomes superior and everything bellow the head becomes inferior (reminds me of how a lot of people think and act)
John said the soul is located in our pelvic area and that in fact the word sacrum comes from the word sacred. John didn’t say this but I think it is very interesting that the sacrum (5 fused vertebra) resemble a downward facing triangle, a symbol that shows from the divine to the embodied.
Focus of the floor of the pelvis. As you inhale notice what happens do you feel an expansion or do you feel a contraction? As you exhale notice what happens, do you feel an expansion or do you feel a contraction?
If the energy is moving “correctly” the inhalation should case the pelvis to expand and the exhalation should cause the pelvis to contract.