Monday, October 26, 2009

snowflakes=unique asanas=unique

As I watch the snowflakes dancing, i am reminded of their uniqueness. Every asana (yoga posture) should have this same uniqueness. Not just unique from person form person, moment to moment, but every time you get into a pose it should be unique.

When a new student starts to practice yoga, they learn the different poses and the alignment. Then when the teacher says virabhadrasana 2 (warrior 2) the student immediately assumes the position, knee over ankle, back leg internally rotating front leg externally rotating, rooting the the fee, knee over ankle, shoulders on the back, side body long, and reaching out through the finger tips. And then they stay, they hold the pose, this is the same warrior pose they come to in every class. The student starts to develop this idea that they "know" this pose, and they "know" where they are in the pose.

But where is the uniqueness, the playfulness, the mystery?

I used to practice like this, and I see many students practicing like this. But now when I practice asana I work at discovering each unique pose. The way I do this is by moving into the pose softly. This means that when a teacher says virabhadrasana 2 I don't go into my deepest warrior and become stiff and hold. Instead I just go in a little bit. Then I slowly more by body into alignment as I so this I focus on the sensations that arise in the body. I keep breathing and I continue to go deeper. As I do this I try to forget about what my warrior pose looked like last week, or even yesterday. Because it is a new day and a new pose. The pose I do today is going to be unique I have never done a warrior two like this before and I will never do the same warrior two again. It might look similar, but it is different. The energy is flowing different, the sensations feel different, and I shine out in a different way.

Practicing like this makes yoga SO FUN. It takes you out of the mind and gets you super interested in what is happening right NOW, in you body, and then moving accordingly. Practicing like this also insures that a student wont get stuck. that they wont plateau, because they are no longer going into the same pose and stopping, they are continuing to evolve, continuing to push, to play on the edge of flexibility and strength.

This uniqueness exists in every pose. it doesn't matter the difficult, if its upside down, standing, or lying on the floor. All that matters is you don't reach a point in the pose and think "I am just going to hang out here", instead you think with a curious mind "where is this pose going to take me today?" Let this be our intention in our practice, get out of the mind, of assuming you know where you are going, and drop into the heart and go on a adventure. Just like a snowflake floating down from above.

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