The fascinating work in a dance is the moment connecting two moves. As a long time choreographer I’ve watched a lot of dance. The ahaaa moment is not necessarily when the leg extends high into the air, though that is glamorous and exciting, rather is is the connective fiber taking the leg toward its next move that is the emotional ahaaa, the emotional glue of the dance. The go-between moments are the truly creative work in any process. This prepositional-concept is true in all areas, such as having a fascinating idea. In dance, the high-held-leg is a magnificent moment. But where does it carry you from there? What will it become? How is it powerful, or not?
This is true of Yoga, especially Vinyasa Flow. It is true of Pranayama, in that it is the moment between inhale and exhale that holds the key to an expanded life. The intention and ability to create strong binding, the fine weaving that holds something together, be it Asanas, Pranayam, dance, poetry, engineering, research… this is the heart of a creation. Here, in the space-between, is where bodies and minds, sinew, and soul expose themselves. This in between moment, like a good preposition, is the gatekeeper toward deeply expressive wisdom.
In the Spanda System, the fourth system of the Trika philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, Hatha Yoga is given focus and direction for seeking experience of the Self, not only to undertake a physical Practice, but a practice of self discovery. ”As the heart and power of inspiration behind the practice….We look for the ‘in-between’ places, between breaths, and between actions, in which there is the experience of quiet awareness and inspiration. This awareness of Spanda is the essence of the qualities of the heart expressed in our Practice.”* “Heart of the Yogi.” By Doug Keller.
When learning something for the first time, or suddenly having a new idea, it’s often impossible to join it to the next thing. The focus is on ‘that moment.’ It is only through practicing we begin to intuit the layers of connection. In revisiting the ahaaa moment, or the high-held leg, the body connects the spirit of the ‘who’ to the what.
PS If you missed last week’s posting of ShaktiYogaDances on the website, go to You Tube, Hit it with a thumbs up.
Pose and Seasonal Energies
Asana/Pose: Kapotasana/ Dove or Pigeon. (The chest lifts and puffs out like a pouter pigeon.) Come into the pose from Supta Virasana/ Reclining Hero. ( If not sure what that is, go to website and type it in, a full description will come up.) Place the hands as you would for a back bend, fingers pointing toward shoulders, elbows parallel. Contract buttocks, lifting buttocks and torso, stretch into long arms. Work to keep knees close together. Bend elbows, bring hands back behind head- as you do for Salamba Sirsasana- lower head into hands, as close to feet as possible. Keep breath long and even. To release, lengthen arms and lower chest to floor. Feel very proud of yourself.
You can practice opening chest and strengthening spine by extending deeply into Ustrasana/Camel. Also, use blocks under the forearms until back and spine are free enough to go lower. If knees are sensitive, practice this on a folded blanket.
Health Notes: Like all backbends, Kapotasana, lengthens and strengthens spine, and neck muscles. As you support the lower back by lifting the pelvic girdle to keep lumbar lifted and long, the genitals receive more blood, along with the spinal column. Opening the diaphragm always massages the heart, and opens and invigorates the lungs.
Astrology Notes: Entering Venus ruled Taurus territory, we pay attention to the throat, which Venus rules in the physical body. Our expression is tied to our value, now more than ever. Our talents are tied to our ability to declare ourselves able & productive, worthy of a fine salary. Taurus’ mantra, “I use” is not only about using something wisely, but about being used. What form does that take, how does it look, is it worthy, is it being used well?
Ayurvedic Notes: The throat chakra, the Vishudda, is connected to the Jalandara Bandha. It has significance not only in physical yoga but everyday speech, and the value placed on communication. It is a primary route connecting us with others, and therefore a place of great vulnerability. It is often an area of blockages, both the things we need to say –and don’t, plus blockages in movement, or Prana. In Asana, the neck frequently unconscious tension around control issues, and is often a place where the energetic line of a pose is broken. You cannot do backbends when the neck is weak…ie you cannot be powerful if you don’t ever learn to say, “no.”