Friday, May 27, 2011

Yoga asanas as a reflection of yourself

I like to think that I am teaching a type of yoga where how you do a pose, how you approach it, is a reflection of your self. Plus, if this reflection is clouded with some negative impressions and dusts of your thinking, your own practice helps to clear the image. I wish to think I am in that zone.

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I also think if there is a regularity of practice, something kicks in, which says that you do not need another person as a reflection for yourself.

I found this out while researching stuff for touch therapy. We are constantly seeking affirmation from the other side, the world outside as to who we are... That is why we dress, talk, mix with a certain type of people. These reflect us back to ourselves. When we are uncomfortable with any of these projections of the self, we move away from that, because the reflection is not to our liking.

A good yoga practice is where your dependence on this sort of constant feedback from the world becomes unnecessary. That may be because one's kinesthetic intelligence is restored to its original pristine wisdom. You feel good about yourself.  You like that you have challenged yourself, and even if you did not get a pose right, you feel good that you tried it to the best of your ability. These shut down the static of criticism in your mind. It may even break off patterns of expectations, reflections of yourself from the world. Part of the deal with this sort of a reflection is that it makes you less dependent on others to tell you what you are... That is a good place to be. In fact, it is the best place to be. Because everybody who is striving -- by calling it ambition, or becoming rich or famous, is actually seeking this reflection. This makes the person driven. A more realistic way of putting it would be, that it makes a person desperate. Underneath the sheen of achievement, always the craving for the right reflection. But a person with a sound yoga practice continues seeking his or her challenges, but does it less for the world and more for his or own inner calling. The reflection becomes unnecessary, no mirror is needed.
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Reading Te Ching, I loved this line: "A broken mirror does not reflect any more."  It means you don't need a mirror, the ego is gone, and what is restored is something else, pure, beautiful, unasking, even giving.

And kinesthetic intelligence is not just about balancing on one foot or standing on your head to as long as you like, with the your body in space, restored back to its primal wisdom. There are other things to that...

Research finds several intriguing things about kinesthetic intelligence:
  • That the functions of all the other senses are keenly associated with it. 
  • That poses that work the body at right angles, are tonic/energizing in nature. (Leg raises).
  • Poses that press down are detoxing and deflate the wrong build-up of negativities. (crocodile, twists)
  • Statically held poses are grounding. (Any pose held long, even a difficult one like the crow).
So, yoga is not just exercise. I often have trouble getting this across to people, especially Indians who do it for weight loss or for health. Yogic poses are much more than that!!

Here is what Bevis Nathan says in his book Touch and Emotion, on bodily movement:
He says our body's movements are autobiographical. They reflect us most. There are layers of stories told in the movement.

"Movement being an aspect of the phsyical make-up is autobiographical. It is the moving picture, where static posture is the single frame photograph."

1 comment:

Anila said...

You are so right! It is the most difficult thing to convince ppl that Yoga is not just some exercise or a fad for weight loss! It is 'mind exercise'.When you learn to control and free your mind at will, THAT is only when you can control your physical self .