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Monthly archives: June 2017
- Is there such a thing as perfect alignment, and if so, what is it?
- Posted 05 Jun 2017
- Because of my belief in the importance of alignment, this is a question I have actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about, and I feel like I am getting closer to an answer. And as always, the more I refine the answer, the more nuanced it gets. The main thrust of the answer is that asking the question of whether there is such a thing as a perfect version of an asana, that asking this question itself is taking you off the path, is derailing the deepening of your practice.
- The better is the enemy of the good
- Posted 12 Jun 2017
- First recorded in the West as an Italian proverb in 1603, this idea has been picked up by Voltaire and Shakespeare and many other Western thinkers. Do you have an immediate answer as to what that statement means? Or do you see the ambiguity in the sentence? Which one is the real enemy? Is it goodness, or is it betterment? What does that statement mean to you personally? Does it mean that your insistence on perfection keeps you from creating anything good, or does it mean that if you settle for ‘good’, you will never improve?
- Balancing power and refinement
- Posted 19 Jun 2017
- Most of us have a tendency to work too hard in yoga at least some of the time in an effort to try to force improvement in our practice. However, over-efforting is counterproductive because it increases the likelihood of injury and thwarts our enjoyment of the present moment, which in turn impedes our ability to practice awareness with serenity. In addition, too much power in our practice makes it difficult to explore the refinements of the poses, to notice and adjust minor alignment imbalances, and to find expressiveness, spaciousness, and freedom in each pose.
So how do you go about striking that balance between power and refinement? The answer is through the breath.
- Posted 26 Jun 2017
- Pranayama, one of the core disciplines of yoga, is often translated as "control of life force" or "breath control", because 'prana' means life force or breath, and 'yama' means control or restriction. (See footnote for a detailed grammatical explanation of the meaning of pranayama). While this is probably the original historical meaning, it is worth noting that the original practice of pranayama was simply breath retention, and in that context, the phrase “breath control” was simply descriptive.