A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking a therapeutics training with Susi Hately Aldous. On the basis of that training, I want to propose a crazy idea.
Rather than working our way into poses that “look right,” how about we invite your bodies into pure movement…and leave it at that? For example, in Warrior 2, we tend to set our hips up, line up our knee over our front ankle, then take a twist in order to face our body to the side. Essentially, we’re compensating in upper body because our hips (for 95% of us) won’t square safely to the side and allow us to also protect the knee. While this is fine, it illuminates our automatic tendency to make the pose look like something we see on the cover of Yoga Journal rather than actually considering the movement. This tendency must give us pause.
Our intentions are coming from the right place. We see that the pose is supposed to look a certain way, we hear cue that indicate it should be done that way, and so we mimic the form of the pose rather than having the opportunity to really feel what our body can do. If we leap to the look, rather than the feel, then we’re missing part of the process.
I’d like to invite you to a process of feeling. As you explore your asana, rather than jump to the end, explore how your body actually moves into the pose. Notice if a lot of static is happening (wiggles, maneuvers, compensations…) or if you’re able to move smoothly from the largest joints (the Major girdles – the hips and shoulders).
When we start to move from a place of feeling rather than doing, our ability to explore the inner landscape of our body increases. As our sensitivity to ourselves to ourselves increases, we may be surprised by the textures and feelings that arise. We may uncover tension and pain we did not formerly recognize, or we may find unexpected strength arising from a deeper place.
Be kind. Feel more. Do less.
And see what happens.