Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) with Yoga Block

This entry was posted on September 2, 2020 by Charlotte Bell.

My yoga follow, which is over 35 years outdated, is rooted within the Iyengar system. For many years I’ve studied nearly completely with Iyengar academics. The non-Iyengar academics I attracted had been principally individuals whose follow and educating relied on the Iyengar system earlier than they determined to maneuver in one other course.

B.Ok.S. Iyengar might be greatest recognized within the yoga world for its emphasis on alignment. It is sensible. When I used to be learning with B.Ok.S and his daughter Geeta in Pune a few years in the past, he defined that the aim of asana follow is to create an energized and peaceable setting within the physique in order that the thoughts may be each alert and calm. A physique that’s not disciplined and misaligned is much less prone to relaxation in a state of equilibrium.

Another means of taking a look at alignment

Although I absolutely agree with this in principle and in many years of my very own follow, I’ve begun to make use of the phrase "alignment" in favor of the idea of "continuity". Too usually, "alignment" can imply that there’s a technique to pose your physique and that it’s common. I do know that many academics perceive that alignment isn’t a one-size-fits-all resolution, however for me the phrase itself implies that.

Continuity, however, suggests a extra inner expertise. Continuity refers to a state of concord in all shifting components of the physique. In different phrases, once we give attention to continuity, we tune into the relationships between bones at every joint, between the interior intentions to maneuver (the breath) and the exterior manifestation of an asana, and between the interior and exterior buildings of our physique. In this put up, I need to give attention to the continuity via the joints.

Continuity via the joints

If you do a variety of yoga pictures, you’ll be able to think about that attaining Cirque du Soleil-like poses is a sign of "good" follow. People who follow poses which might be structurally inaccessible to most practitioners might or is probably not "advanced" yogis. I do know I've stated this in a thousand other ways, however yoga isn't about doing fancy poses. It's simply not like that.

The asana follow is about bringing physique and thoughts into concord. And creating continuity via our joints is a really concrete and achievable technique to get right into a state of lightness and concord.

Continuity via our joints signifies that as an alternative of specializing in pushing to the tip of our joints to get the "full expression" of a pose, we as an alternative create clean transitions via our joints. Pushing joints into their finish areas can usually result in micro-cracks and impacts within the joint capsules. Constant overstretching of the ligaments – the collagen tissue that connects bones to different bones – creates unstable joints.

Ligaments are designed to limit the motion of our joints. When our ligaments are overstretched from continuously pushing our joints into their finish areas, our muscle groups have to tighten to ensure that the ligaments to do their job. While we might not really feel these accidents the second they enter our joints, it should normally put on down tender tissues over time, resulting in joint issues afterward.

When you push the joints into their finish areas, the stress on our nervous system will increase as our physique's pure protecting mechanisms are activated to stop our joints from shifting too far. If asana's purpose is to create a peaceable setting within the physique, pushing for optimum sensation isn’t the best way to go. With mutual continuity, you’ll have to maneuver to your finish space after which again off a bit. When I do that, my poses really feel much more steady and grounded, and my thoughts is immediately comfy.

This is the way you create continuity

Creating continuity is a difficult enterprise. It's tough as a result of there isn't a robust sensation that comes with continuity. When we press our joints to the purpose of feeling – comfy or uncomfortable – we all know who and the place we’re. When we withdraw a bit into the service of continuity, there isn't a lot apparent feeling.

I organize my physique in such a means that it’s barely noticeable or under no circumstances at my joints – ft, ankles, knees, hips, sacroiliac joints, vertebral joints, shoulders, elbows, wrists and palms. I create my pose from scratch and verify in with each joint as I soften within the asana.

Practicing with the intention of making continuity can be tough as it’s prone to fluctuate from day after day. This is the place mindfulness is so precious. When we study what continuity appears like, we are able to regulate our asanas from inside.

Sometimes it helps to maneuver slowly and intentionally in the direction of your finish space. When you could have reached your finish, pull again a bit till you’re feeling a way of lightness in all planes round your joint. There needs to be no sense of interference or restriction within the circulate of power between the bones at every joint.

Even when you don't frequently use yoga props – blocks, straps, blankets, and so on. – use them when training for continuity. They are invaluable in serving to you obtain structural integrity in your poses.

Mindfulness of your mind's disposition can assist you establish in case your pose is in tune with your self. Does your mind really feel tense, laborious, tense, or contracted? If so, loosen up your mind if doable, then go searching the place else you is likely to be exerting your self.

All of those references are refined. They require us to look deeper than we’re used to. An overstretched or impacting joint speaks straight upwards – its suggestions is given straight on the floor. We recite alignment guidelines in our heads as we deepen squelches. A deeper look is the essence of yoga follow. Practicing for continuity makes the journey of deep gaze simpler.

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