Redefining Balance In Our Yoga Practice
This podcast explores a vital and ongoing exploration of balance, stability, and mobility in our yoga practice, based on a relationship between our bodies and the earth.
How can we use our practice to find balance with in ourselves and let go of the compensatory patterns that prevent us from fully utilizing the earth’s support. To find a pathway of true buoyancy that grows out of the primary relationship between our bodies and gravity. In addition to utilizing the alignment relationships between our body parts we must also find an alignment relationship with gravity.
Gravity and levity are the natural forces with which we are engaged in continual interaction. Tone is our body’s response to the forces of gravity . It is a readiness to respond in all the tissues of the body. It is present moment.
Gravity is the force that draws us down into the earth. Levity is the force that draws the body away from the earth. Buoyancy is the lightness and resiliency in relationship with the earth and its gravitational forces.
Collapsing, propping and yielding are three responses to gravity that we are navigating in our practice. The Gunas are the three primary qualities or activities of all matter. They are : Tamas - sinking downward; Rajas - rising upward; Sattva - resting evenly, balanced.
Collapsing ( Tamas) is when we descend into the earth without the ability to use gravity to our advantage and our structure sinks into the ground. This is an expression of low tone in the body.
Propping ( Rajas) is another compensatory pattern that is an attempt to pull ourselves away from the earth in a well intentioned effort to stand straight. In this one we pull and lift ourselves away from the ground without the support of the earth. It is an expression of high tone in the body lacking a healthy connection to the earth.
Yielding ( Sattva) is when we actively rest into the earth which creates a rebounding force away from the ground. This response elongates our body upward into space and is an expression of balanced tone in the body. Here we find support from the earth in all the tissues of our body. This is a type of Laghima, an effortless lightness that is in cellular resonance with the force of gravity, reflecting the spacious state of mind that is Sattva.
Any surface of the body that meets the ground can lead us into yielding. When we allow those surfaces to give weight to the earth, while maintaining integrity through our structure, we receive a rebound of gravity up through our body. Yielding creates a push back through the body, thus bringing the forces of gravity and levity into balance and creating a body that is available, responsive, realistic and present.