Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yoga as if we had a Brain, Lesson 1

Again a yoga class and again the joy of moving , and of being in a room with others paying attention to themselves, and of having various shapes and configurations to enter and leave. A chance to move and be present and pay attention.

Again a yoga class and the dreariness of the This is The Way style of teaching. If you can do the pose, fine, then do it and enjoy, or do it and show off, or both. If you can't, it's sort of tough luck, except you are given, again, and again, the rules of whatever the system: 'more weight into this leg', 'inner rotate this part', 'roll back that', 'let X go forward/back.' And so on.

Never learning, never an appeal to the brain and to exploration. Never the phrase: try it this way and try it that and see if you notice the difference. Never the idea: notice where in you is stopping this movement and instead of "stretching" or trying to surmount that limiting point (by all the Rules of "this back" and "that rotated" and whatnot), notice how you could stop this movement even more voluntarily.

Never this option: instead of pushing more or harder or further, how about a change of direction and emphasis?

Anyway. As the book progresses, I'll be slipping in some yoga for those who are willing to slow down and connect with the real core to movement: the brain.

Here's the first one:


1) Lean with your hands toward the floor and see what that is like. Avoid pushing, straining, and "trying." Notice where this is easy and pleasant for you and notice where this seems stopped or unpleasant or both. Notice how you are breathing. Notice any inner war-statements, the "I can't do this," or "I'm too…," and so on. Notice what it's like to notice instead of "trying."

2) Stand tall, or tallish and notice your feet on the ground, notice how high your eyes are in the sky, notice your breathing.

3) Come up on to your toes and become even taller and flop down on your heels. Do this a number of times with ease, pleasure and experimentation, noticing your breathing and your spine and your pleasure.

4) Stand tall, close your eyes, sense your entire self and rest.

5) Open your eyes and lean forward, but make sure it is no more than 80% of what you are capable of doing. In this position, shift weight from the front of your feet to the back and back to front enough times to enjoy it. Then shift weight from left foot to your right foot, again, enough times to enjoy it and maybe learn a little. Learn what? It doesn't need to be in words, it's better not in words, just a feeling/ sensation of learning "something."

6) Come back to upright. Rest again, eyes closed and sensing.

7) Lean forward, as usual 80%, and bend and straighten just your right knee. See what that does in your pelvis. See what that does in your foot. See if you can feel a push from the floor to your pelvis as you do this. Rest (you chose how). The repeat with the other knee and leg and foot.

Notice how your spine and ribs rotate as you bend and straighten your knees. Notice how your breath co-ordinates with this, or does not. Notice how you could make it easier and more delightful.

8) Come to stand and rest and sense and see in your feel as if learning is going on.

9) Lean forward easily and now bend and straighten both knees at the same time, noticing breathing and pushing into the ground and movement in your pelvis and pleasure and connection in your spine and brain.

10) Rest. And then lean down just enough so that you can rest your hands on your knees. Breath easily. Now breathe so you fill your belly as you breathe in and pull in your belly as you breathe out. Now as you breathe in and push out your belly, arch your back inward and bring your head back and your butt higher in the air. And when you breathe out, fold so that your back is arched up like a cat and your head is looking at your sex and your sex is folding up toward your head. Go back and forth, arched and folded, noticing your spine and your pelvis and the whole shape of you and your weight on your feet.

11) Stand and rest.

12) Now fold forward at the waist and stick your butt up and let your arms hang down easily and try a different trajectory. Instead of all this up and down stuff, allow your spine to twist, as you are folded forward like this, to the right and to the left. Have some fun, seeing how this makes the world look.

13) Stand and rest.

14) Now, simply fold forward and see how this is different than in the beginning of the lesson. Enjoy your life and your spine and your learning and your awareness.

15) Yes.

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