The art of balanced relationship: Sourcing the power withinPosted: Updated:
How does your relationship to self effect your experience within the world? Do you give yourself permission to slow down and recharge your "battery?" Maybe you have the challenge of not enough energy to get yourself into action. How often do you say, "Hold on, I need to take a few deep breathes before I continue?" This is a powerful segment focusing on the breath and how it effects your state of mind, body and soul. Have you ever felt caught up in the moment and spontaneously purchansed something you don't really need or found yourself in a heated debate over something that is costing YOU energy. So why do humans get so wrapped up in all of the exhaustion of emotional chaos? Why do we allow our personal power, our relationship with ourselves to be cast aside or tossed around like a boat out in choppy waters. Well the answer is quite simple. Science shows us that an object at rest is most likely to remain at rest, an object in motion is most likely to stay in motion, therefore, we must look at the balance of opposites. The balanced forces in nature are right within us, it is up to us to tap our inner well and source within when we may feel without the necessary support or extra energy we need to feel calm, nourished and integrated. The art of a balanced relationship, starts within.
If our challenge is to remain calm in a normally stressful situation, postures like a hip openers may bring about a deeper awareness of what our automatic breath pattern is. Once we wake up to our own breathing pattern, we have the power to change the flow of energy within the body/mind and thus have the opportunity to transform what is within our current experience from one of powerlessness to one of empowerment. With continuous practice, we begin to experience riding into the sensation and allowing the breath to become a bridge, so to speak. The breath connection allows us to move through the experience with poise and a deeper listening to personal needs. How is the breath or prana able to sustain us, support us and have such a lasting effect?
Thousands of years ago, the yogis mapped all 720,000,000 nadis. These pathways all branch out from the primary flow of life force or prana, which flows through the spine. Opening up the flow of energy through the spine is one of the most important aspects of the physical yoga practice.
Yoga breathing helps to bring awareness to your body-mind relationship, heightening your level of awareness within, such that we are more alert and at ease in the world. This heightened level of awareness may begin while we are in a balance posture or a posture that brings about a feeling of deep sensation coupled with release. It may even start as a feeling of heat or tingling up the spine. Over time, blocks release and ones true essencence, of ease and balance permeates as the energy makes it's way though the nadis. This is where the subtle meets the raw physcial expression. This is where the feeling of joy starts to expand into ones actions and onese being. This is just the beginning of transformation on many subtle levels.
Yoga is the balance and integration of the masculine and feminine and becomes a practice of uniting equal opposites with least resistance. This is a balance of mastering both the muscular and organic energies, the yin and the yang aspects of yoga. As we flow through our sequence today, we bring light to the intention of both, supporting a healthy dynamic of these actions showing up both on and off the mat. If we tend to push ourselves until exhaustion, learning to back off a bit and let the breath guide the practice is key. To the contrary, if one is a very slow and easy going person who really needs to feel energized to stay motivated to get things done, then we will choose a practice or series of postures that are heat building with a bit more of an up-tempo. One powerful way of creating a steady awareness within ones practice is through pranayama (breathing exercises). The practice of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama(alternate nostril breathing), wakes up the subtle energy in the body, balances the masculine and feminine, and allows this intuition to be present both on and off the mat. Completing your practice with Savasana is key to both integration and release of much of the muscular tension that builds up in the body. Take 5-15 minutes lying on your back in a fully restful place, allowing the body a chance to assimilate the work and provide a deeper connection to the more subtle energy currents throughout.
To further your understanding of the nadis and energy flow, read the essay: Physics, Anatomy, and Yoga by Rama Birch C.S.Y.T, R.Y.T.
*For specific Pranayma techniques see: Living Yoga- Intro to Pranyama, Living Yoga- Ujjayi Pranayam (Ocean Breath), Living Yoga- Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing), and Living Yoga-Dirga Pranayama (Complete Breath).
By Rama Berch, C.S.Y.T., R.Y.T.
See you around the bend!