Wednesday, January 15, 2014
IN ASANAS, we bring our awareness to breath, to places of tension, and to experiences of release and softness. In Awakening The Spine, Vanda Scaravelli suggests that we “come to the spine” or bring our awareness to the sensations we might feel in the spine when we are doing a pose. When we do so, we can begin to move and soften the spine.
Yoga is a body-mind practice that comprehensively included the spine: arching the lumbar out and in, twisting the spine, stretching the spine to one side and then the other, and inverting the spine. Awakening awareness of what the spine is doing in a pose, we can then move the body/spine and follow its movement.
Coming to places of tension and using breath to support the body and then to deeply and kindly stretch with an exhale, deeply stretching points of tension, and bringing our awareness to the spine are dimensions of yoga practice that are likely to be missed when we are quickly changing poses.
Moving quickly “awakens” the spine, but we are not very likely to awaken our awareness of the spine in the sense of spending some time there. Holding poses can more accurately involve allowing the pose to come to us, to fit each of us, and there, to explore a rich landscape—coming to the spine and to the tension and to the gradual release—that we typically do not allowed ourselves to experience and, therefore, miss so very much. Why such expediency? Toward what end?