RESTORATIVE-YIN YOGA involves supported body/mind relaxation. This is gentle, gentle yoga that promotes deep relaxation for stress reduction while also stretching and rehabilitating connective tissue.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yoga Play

YOGA CAN BE intuitive.  And intuitive practice can be playful.  And this play can be gentle or intensive.  One might sway gently like seaweed in the ocean, similar to “flow” in tai chi—in “tabletop,” “down dog,” or “seated.”  One might utilize features of the practice space or props.  Play and softness can be a way to “pre-begin” rather than jump right into either stillness or a sequence of poses.

preliminary stretching 1

By week’s end, after consistent practice, perhaps a little strength building or “friskiness” begins the practice session.  More exploration, seeing what might call out and what will be needed to realize the idea.  The goal then is not to be perfect, but more playfully “edgy.”

frisky Friday 1

frisky Friday 2

And then, it might be time to let it go, rather than make this “yoga.”   Because this 5000 year old practices are not primarily concerned with physical softness or friskiness or even with poses or as a process that is done to give physical health.  And skill with strength or flex or balance can miss the mark, and have next to nothing to do with mastery of yoga.  In Awakening The Spine, Vanda Scaravelli writes,
To Be Proud Of Our Yoga Positions is bad taste.  To be able to do poses “successfully” means nothing, nothing at all.  Yoga should not be a circus.  It must not be done as a refuge from life.

And so, back to stilling and calming and quieting and opening a gate where there had, heretofore, appeared to be a wall.  Gentle as the deep way forward.  Calming, holding, breathing, listening, releasing, following the body vs. controlling.

Soft Power Baddha Konasana / Yin Butterfly

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