Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Principles of Motion

I don't know the source of this because it was a handout from my kundalini yoga training, but I love the info--it's a great reminder...

1. Breath
Allow the breath to do the work.

2. Gravity
The physics of gravity–forces of up and down (ferris wheel); levers, pivots, joints and muscles
Laws of physics momentum:
- law of inertia: objects that are at rest, stay at rest. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, in a straight line, unless an external force changes the direction.
- momentum: resistance (mass + friction)= motion
- law of reaction: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

3. Above down, inside out
Move from the navel point. Your core or natal nervous system is at your navel point. The actual navel center is two inches below the umbilicus (belly button). When you move and speak from here, you can be 100% behind the action of words.

4. Instantaneous axis of rotation
Maintain a stable and central axis.

5. Develop deep roots
Maintain a solid base. Establish the roots and set the navel point before moving or positioning the wings. Begin correctly. End gracefully.

6. Be aware of clear alignment.
Restrictions of big joints result in pain in smaller joints.
Wherever there is a restriction, there will be a compensation. (Physical, mental, spiritual)
Areas of hypo-mobility tend to be compensated for by areas of hypermobility.
If there is an area of weakness, other areas will compensate by contracting and restricting movement, in an attempt to stabilize the base.

7. Align all aspects and facets
Maintain awareness and focus by keeping the mind on Sat on the inhale and Nam on the exhale. Be aware of your thoughts and the architecture of the mind.
Flexibility begins in the mind.
If you start a posture correctly, with clear intentions, you will most likely end the posture correctly.
Maintain a specific dristi (eye focus in a specific direction)

8. Strengthen what you want to stretch and stretch what you want to strengthen.

9. Smile
The goal of yoga is happiness! Reflecting the goal on your face firmly establishes your desired outcome.
Maintaining this facial mudra, will let you know when you are using too much effort or when you have created excess discomfort
Smiling stimulates the immune system

10. Keep the outcome in mind.
The purpose to practicing yoga is to attain the attributes of a yogi. Beyond the polarities and into the blissful abyss.
You are the goal, be the person you want to be
Let go of what is not the essential you
The only time is NOW. The past is over, and the future is pure fantasy.
Utilize a command center beyond the body and mind. Use your reserve energy guided from the viewpoint of your Soul.

11. Vitality naturally becomes virtue.
Move from the navel.
Keep the heart open and the head follows.
A strong stable navel, will allow a full breath and diaphragmatic motion, allowing the heart to naturally open.

12. Commitment creates momentum.
Let go of patterns, stay focused, and go _through_ the exercise.
Do you best, with every breath, in every exercise and every kriya.
“Seize the Day.” Most exercises are 3 minutes or less. Get the maximum effect per second. Juice the moments, allow the Now to happen. Let go of the past, forget and future. Be here now!

13. Transformation is the path
We tend to fold on our preexisting creases. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

the shape of breath

We take on average 20,000 breaths a day. Because of this, the way we breathe is the single strongest reinforcement of postural patterns we take on in our bodies--thus, it is what creates the shape of our bodies.

The diaphragm is a flattish dome-shaped muscle that lies underneath the lungs. When we want to breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and pulls down, causing the chest to expand and the vacuum created to pull in air to fill the lungs. When we breathe shallowly, a shape of the body (barrel-chested) begins to be reinforced and the diaphragm may begin to flatten. This in turn creates less of a massaging effect by the diaphragm on the muscles and organs around it, and the result is less tonus and less ability to perform their functions.

The diaphragm interacts with a number of other horizontal structures throughout the body, acting in some cases like a lid and in others like a base in dividing the vertical lines of the body into compartments of support and energy transmission. When the diaphragm flattens or becomes less horizontal, all the other horizontal structures (the pelvic floor, thoracic outlet, and even the feet, knees, the palate in the mouth, and the tentorium--membranous structures in the head) are affected and in turn become less effective at massaging what they sandwich in the body.

I was thinking about how sometimes we get into yoga poses and are straining so much to force ourselves to look a certain way that the breath stops--or alternately, the breath becomes strained because the pose done in that way isn't correct for that particular body. The ability to breathe should become fuller if a pose is performed the way a body should perform it, because hatha yoga's intention is to horizontalize the diaphragms--to maximize the efficiency of the internal support network within the body.

Another context for the same idea: when I drive and get irked by other drivers my breathing becomes shallow--as if somehow, if I didn't breathe, I would block out the irritating thing that had just happened. But through not breathing, that's how the experience gets trapped in--and I become the irritation, because by not inhaling it in completely I don't give myself the opportunity to exhale it out. When trauma occurs, or something triggers you, breathe more deeply--and that's what creates the neutrality for the event to not stay in the body.

It comes from creating internal support. Everything we do should support the breath, and it in turn will support us.