Asana the Branches, becoming strong and flexible, balanced with endurance to be steady amongst the moving winds of life.
As we practice Asana and explore postures, we must continue to practice the first two limbs of Yama and Niyama. Asana is the vehicle towards understanding the true self within. Through our practice, asana cultivates alignment of body, mind and spirit.
Through the organs of action, sense organs and the mind, we move from the external to a more internal practice.
There are only three sutras which discuss asana, and therefore they are important to explore and understand. While asana should be steady and we should practice with the mind and intellect in contact: from the periphery of the body to the core of being and from the core to the skin, expanding and graceful.
‘If, while practicing the asanas, the practitioner notices the dull, distracted or contracted parts of the body, he (she) must recharge the battery of his intelligence and alert it to rectify these dull, distracted or contracted parts. Then he can experience all the vestments of the self (the seen) being properly balanced and in unison with the seer…then it is possible to realize what is sukha and what is sthira in each asana.’
BKS Iyengar Core of the Yoga Sutras
Asana is essential to the practice of Pranayama.
Pranayama, the Leaves, inhalation, exhalation and retention purify body, mind, intelligence, and consciousness fit for the inward journey. Through the practice of Pranayama, without strain, we can change the state of consciousness, where a restless mind can find a quiet state of stability.
We traveled to the Ford factory in Dearborn Michigan where they were making the F150 pick up truck. I thought it was an amazing experience, seeing the pieces come together. With the transformation to the assembly line, I think of Mr. Iyengar and the transformation he helped create for the practice of Yoga throughout the world. And how the practice of yoga, we can experience profound transformation in our bodies, mind and consciousness.
From Michigan, we drove many hours to stay just outside Chicago at my ‘oldest’ friend’s house. We have known each other since we were five years old.
I found after one night in her home, I realized how tired I was. With all the push to finishing teaching, all the emotion of farewells, packing, having the movers do their thing and hopping into the airstream, I realized I was pretty exhausted. I’ve had some rest and family fun, seeing my Mom and other long time friends. We are off for a 7 hour drive. Our goal is to make to the corner of Minnesota; stay there tonight and head to the Bad Lands tomorrow.
I am exploring ‘long distance seated- in-car yoga’ practice. It’s essential as I feel my hamstrings shortening and my mind drawn to the back of my legs. I will work on designing a practice for us passengers.
My orchids, a cactus and jade arrived at Eric’s Aunt’s house in great shape! It was an expensive process but I felt it important an important investment given the time and energy I have put into them.
Heading towards the Great Plains, ready to count cows with Eli.