Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Discipline leads to freedom

When I was younger this is something I just didn't understand. I thought freedom was not having to follow any rules and doing whatever I wanted, when ever I wanted. My loving father tried to get me to be more responsible so I would have more choices and therefore more freedom in my future but as a 17 little brat punk I didn't get it.

Oddly enough I learned this lesson through the practice of Anusara alignment. This style of yoga emphasis discipline and following specific alignment principles in a specific order. Anusara Yoga also emphasis freedom hugely. Read any article on Anusara and you are bound to come across the word freedom or creativity. I was confused at first. Didn't disciple stifle ones ability to be creative and free? I have learned the answer is NO! In fact discipline is imperative for freedom.

I now believe and have witnessed that if you practice yoga with no disciple, no rules or alignment principles eventually the body will get hurt and you will be severally limited to what you can do. If however you follow simple alignment principles the body will open deeper, you will move deeper in your practice and you will have a wider scope of poses you can perform (with out injuring yourself). On top of this practicing alignment on the mat heals the body, safe guards the body from injury and improves your posture so you will have more vitality and stamina to express your creativity and freedom in your life!

Another simple example of how disciple leads to freedom is our justice system. If one is to follow no rules and be completely free and do whatever they, want when ever they want. Most likely over time they will end up in jail or dead. These scenarios both strip you of your freedom. However if you use your disciple and don't break the law you get to experience much more freedom in your life.

In the sequence below the principle of emphasis is shins in thighs out. You have to be disciple as hugging the forearms and shins into the midline of the body to create stability and as a result of that stability you have the freedom to broaden the upper arm bones and though bones laterally. This space you create in the hips and shoulders is so freeing and removes a lot of held muscular tension. With the upper arm bones broad you can melt you heart (plugging the upper arm bones into the shoulder sockets and integrating the shoulders) with greater ease, and with the hips broad you can scope your tail bone creating strength in the low belly and back.  (S.I.T.O is short for shins in thighs out which is the alignment principle for the legs and we use the same short hand for this alignment principle for the arms but really arms is forearms in upper arm bones out.)

Uttanasana - Ardha Uttanasana
hands on outer shins push shins in with your hands elbows point out to sides like chicken wings and broaden the thighs out so the knees are in line with the second toe
High Runner Lunge Lunge S.I.T.O legs
Urdhva Hastasana standing reach your arms over head with a block (wide) between your hands. Squeeze your forearms and hands toward the midline as you broaden the elbows and slide shoulders onto back body.
Lunge with block between hands S.I.T.O arms and legs
Table -Down Dog S.I.T.O arms and legs
Cobra with hands under elbows and shoulders and chest lifted isometrically slide hands and elbows toward the midline and you broaden collar bones and upper arm bones.
Tadasana clasp hands behind back elbows. Draw heels of hands and elbows toward midline and broaden upper arms and collar bones.- Uttanasana with clasp hands S.I.T.O arms same as in tadasana -Lunge with clasp hands S.I.T.O arms
Uttanasana bound cross right hand behind right calf in between legs and hold on to the front of left shin, left hand crossed behind left calf in between legs and holds front of right shin. Bent knees tracking them over the second toe then squeeze shins together with clasp- broaden thighs then scoop tail bone push from hips to feet and extend legs straight.
Table - forearm table S.I.T.O arms and legs
Forearm plank S.I.T.O arms and legs and scope tailbone to lift core while keeping heart melted.
Cobra S.I.T.O arms
Anjanyeasana prep- Anjanyesasana S.I.T.O legs and scope tailbone
L.L quad S.I.T.O legs and scope tailbone, extend from hips through floor and lift chest. with both elbows bent S.I.T.O arms
Mod. Parsvakonasana hand on hip S.I.T.O legs and arm
Parsvakonasana hand on hip S.I.T.O legs and arms
At Wall:
Table-DD- "L" stand handstand S.I.T.O work heart melted
Handstand back against wall S.I.T.O and scope tail up to heels
Fish twist S.I.T.O legs and arms
Symmetrical Pose to calm down nervous system before shavasana

Want to nerd out on some words:

Synonyms: conduct, control, cultivation, discretion, development, domestication, education, exercise, inculcation, method, orderliness, practice, preparation, regulation, restraint, self-command, self-control, self-government, self-mastery, self-restraint, strictness, willpower
Antonyms: chaos, confusion, disorder, disorganization, neglect, negligence, permissiveness
Synonyms:  ability, discretion, elbowroom,  flexibility, free rein, full play, full swing, indulgence, laissez faire, latitude, laxity, opportunity, own accord, play,range,
Antonyms: captivity, confinement, imprisonment, incarceration, limitation, servitude, slavery

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