The art of Asana practice in class

Asana practice can be viewed as an artistic activity,

for just as an artist expresses an idea upon a physical canvas,

so too the asana practitioner expresses an idea upon the physical body.

 

The ideas expressed are the meaning of the 7 cakra or soul centres.

 

And the artistry is carried out with our capacity to:

  • Think – view the idea

  • Feel – develop a sense for the idea

  • Move – participate with the movement quality of the idea.

 

In classes, for example,

we can learn to express idea of anahata cakra through the form of tadasana- the tree pose.

Think

  • The anahata cakra relates to the idea of a sense of self in uprightness.

  • The form of the pose is upright, balancing on 1 leg, hands gather inwards to the heart.

    • Carry out a first sketch of the pose by :

      • Put you weight onto 1 leg and place the other besides this leg, lift up heart region, relax shoulders, observe the upright spine, and when stable place arms wide and gather them inwards towards the heart.

      • Repeat on the other side, and notice the asana finds a centring by the region of the heart, while below is stable, and above is relaxed.

Feel

  • As you gather the hands from wide outside, towards the heart, you find a feeling for gathering ones attention inwards towards the heart, rather than being distracted or dreamy. By gathering and forming a centring at the heart region you find a feeling of a sense of self.

    • Carry out the pose by

      • Standing on two feet with your arms wide to side and practice gathering the hands inwards towards a centring at the heart, with this a sense of self in uprightness grows.

      • Then balance on one leg, as above, bringing attention to the idea of gathering inwards, and coming to a sense of self at the heart region.

Move

  • From the heart region you can encourage a movement downwards into the feet to bring greater stability, while keeping the region above the heart light and relaxed.

    • Carry out the pose

      • As you practice, and continue to gather your attention inwards, notice how the uprightness through the spine grows.

What results from your practice are:

                                                           Qualities for the soul

  • With time a calm, warm sense of self in uprightness grows.  This quality or capacity of a mind, that is both calm but on the other hand awake and guiding, we can bring into everyday lives.

 

Qualities for the body

  • We also develop a better capacity to guide and distribute tension in the body, so that we can maintain a better upright posture.

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