Is your Yoga Hard or Soft? Mine is Metal.
November 5, 2010
When talking strictly asana, you are moving your body from starting positions, or neutral positions into very specific destination poses and holding them. You don’t have to hold them still unless you are advanced, but that is what asanas are, with the combination of integrating the breath the whole time, and also specifically to inhalation and exhalation throughout the movements. The breath is the source of your energy, so it is vital that you understand it and do not obstruct or limit your breathing. Even if breathing is compromised due to lung disease, simply keeping a smooth even breath is the goal. The beauty of Yoga asanas is that it is compounded threefold compared to what it looks like on the surface, a dynamic stretching exercise. With breathing and postures we also practice concentration of the mind. So, one hour of practice will give one hour of exercise, one hour of deep relaxation, and one hour of meditation, through developing the concentration powers within the pose.
The asanas will not only strengthen certain major muscle groups, but will awaken and enliven your core muscle groups. For example, if I were to attempt to dead-lift 315 pounds repeatedly, or even just once, the next time I went to the health club, I would most certainly hurt myself if my core muscles were not strong enough to stabilize my skeletal system under that force; it wouldn’t matter if my major muscle groups were indeed strong enough to lift the weight, and even if they did, I could walk away with an injury. Yoga allows me to lift 315 pounds repeatedly in a dead-lift with no injury. It is the whole-body armor, Metal Yoga, that one needs to perform great feats. It is no wonder that when personal fitness trainers suggest dynamic stretching postures to stabilize your core, they look almost like Yoga Asanas, with names like bridge and cobra.
My asanas are filled with the breath of lightning, filling my entire body from marrow to skin with electric white radiance, enveloping everyone around me with the oneness of compassion. I am not a solid form, but mostly empty space, and every movement of this body brushes through the finest of all matter that permeates all that is. As my arms grow heavy or my legs lose strength, I smile with the sight of the grace and beauty of nature resting on them for me to uphold. As I concentrate and still the mind, the sun is still, pouring its love and warmth over the spinning and rotating earth that we walk on, and at the same time, the earth is still and the sun passes countless times from east to west over the sky, quickly, with rushes of clouds sweeping across, between us, and I watch the fire of life, burning, and consuming, dying to be reborn, the eye opening and closing, the breath in, the breath out, the great wall Maya before me that I walk through as I get a glimpse of transcendence.