The aim of our practice
Asana practice is an activity of the soul seeking connection to a movement quality, which it wants to express through the body.
Asana vary in their shape and form, as well as in their various movement qualities. These movement qualities relate to the 7 cakra, or the 7 soul centres, and have been described from the insight of yoga teacher Heinz Grill, and can be found in his book 'The soul dimension of yoga'. Here you will find these movement qualities being described:
extending into a lighter, freer space
in the Scales
flowing in a unified dynamic, in
the Standing head to knee
direct, decisive action
in the Standing splits
in the Tree
In our practice we develop a sense for these movement qualities and as we learn to bring these into expression not only do we give a better strengthening and flexibility to the body, but we develop qualities which support us in our everyday life.
For example, in the Tree we experience ‘being upright’,
not only as a capacity to hold the body upright,
but also as an inner capacity to hold ‘upright’ an inner sense of self,
which stands in a unique and dignified way, free from outer pressures.
So in everyday life, rather than being distracted or pulled off balance
and away from ones self, we practise the art of maintaining a calm,
centred view point from which we can look upon outer life in a more composed way.
Hence asana practice is integrated, it cultivates soul-like movement qualities that connect into social life as well as the physical body, it promotes and enriches social health and individual health.
How to practice
Most forms of asana practice these days work from the body towards a state of mind,
here it’s the opposite, we work from the mind towards the body.
As the mind views the idea of a movement quality, and as it expresses itself upon the body,
so we bring the soul forces of thinking, feeling and willing into activity.
With the thinking
we draw up the image of the yoga pose in its idea and physical form –
eg in the tree, sense self in the middle of an upright spine.
With the feeling
we unfold a sensitive
sense or subtle feeling for a sense of self in uprightness.
With the will
we begin to move,
inwardly and outwardly with the
newly created arising picture of a sense of self in uprightness.
This way of practising yoga is inspired by the idea of a new yoga will,
which stands in contrast to the old yoga will.
An old yoga will stimulates an energetic vitalising of the body, which creates state of mind. It takes something from the body.
A new will in yoga, however, is the result of a mindful activity, which creates new aesthetic movement and leads to new insights, which promote health for body and soul. It gives something new to the body.
This way of practising offers a new step on the yoga path …. read more with this article.