Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mind Over Body

In Things You Say To Yourself In a Bikram Yoga Class, I mentioned how it's often my body that demands attendance in a yoga class. Once there, however, it's often my mind that takes over... mentally pushing my body towards limits it otherwise "thought" impossible. As Ghandi once said, "[h]armony can be attained when the body, heart and mind are in alignment," or something. And it's true that at the end of yoga class, your mind and body are in both esoterically and physically aligned... too tired to really reach conflict over what to do. But at the beginning of class, my mind usually plays the annoying cheerleader which guilts my body into holding poses when it'd rather run for the door. And so it is in the warm up series that my brain uses one pose to show my body who's boss.

I spoke about Awkward Pose a bit in previous posts and it is broken into three separate postures, the last of which I use to put the kibosh on any predilections towards laziness. To preform the posture's finale, one stands up a bit on their toes, places their knees together and lowers into a seated position to the count of ten. Holding the pose for several seconds, one then ascends up the way they came. And while I often, simply stand up, neglecting to rise slowly like a good yogi should, I do try and go down as slowly as possible... fighting with my body along the way to remain at the points that cause discomfort.

You can perform the posture too, whether done within the scope of the Bikram series or done in isolation. The point is to simply place one's mind over the body, guiding it through discomfort for the sake of future benefit (i.e. that cool triple muscle you get in your thighs when worked hard enough). Done at the beginning of the day, it's a gentle reminder that we can get through what is painful or scary with a little focus. To get a better idea of the posture, you can watch the professional below or you can watch the amateur. Enjoy!

Profesh... and the posture done in its entirety.

 ... and amateur hour.

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