Friday, February 10, 2012
This past weekend it was my Grandpas 80th birthday and we 100+ family members and fiends came together from across that nation to celebrate his wonderful life. It was a superb hilarious crowd. When I was driving home I reflected about the day of festivities and reflected on how fascinating it is that celebrations bring so many people together.
This is similar to engaging muscles, in Anusara lingo, using muscular energy. When we engage our muscles it unites pats of our bodies into units. Instead of having a foot, shin, knee, thigh bone, hip… when muscular energy is engaged drawing from the periphery to the core it draws the leg and all its body parts into a unit. Sometimes when I practice and I am engaging my muscles and my body stats shaking, I smile and tell myself that my muscles jumping for joy in celebration for being used and getting to unite with its fellow body parts (which are often separated do to poor alignment and laziness).
I used this idea as a theme for my class at The Yoga Center class on Monday and at Avenues Yoga for my class on Tuesday. The student’s practiced great adhikara (studentship) as I encouraged them to prod and gab at their muscles throughout the class to notice if their body was doing what they were asking it to do. This is something I have been observing in my own practice, when I poke my thigh to check that I am firming my muscles I realize that they are not engaged. In both classes I taught basic standing poses and seated postures. After my Avenues yoga class a student told me “wow the poses weren’t advanced but I worked so much harder then normally” another interrupts “because she kept telling use to squeeze our body parts”.
I remember when I was starting to practicing from Adam Ballenger and he was getting me to engage my body in every pose I was shocked, even in poses that I used to completely relax in like eka pada rajakapotasana (pigeon pose) and forward folds I was being taught to engage my muscles. I used to go to basic yoga classes and practice engaging my body like Adam was teaching me and I would leave class feeling like I worked so hard.
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