Day 59

Style: Ashtanga
Teacher: Michael Dynie
Studio: Rama Lotus

There's nothing like the internal fire built during an Ashtanga sequence. Feeling the inferno raging through my veins, cleansing and detoxifying my blood, I'm basking in the sensation of being fully alive.

Today at Rama Lotus in the Sky room, I'm working on the subtleties of the practice. My drishti, my gaze, is responding to my control with ease. More so then ever before I'm able to hold my focused attention on a single point and leave it there. Little by little, with a small amount of effort applied every day, the progress is tangible. Where our eyes are directed, our attention follows, and our attention is the most important thing we have. It's the source of all our power, the starting point for creation.

Another aspect of Ashtanga I was able to incorporate tonight is the concept of the bandhas. A bandha is an inner lock, or bind. I've often heard instructors speak of them, but I had never been able to cultivate it into my practice until today. The specific lock I was able to integrate is known as the Mūla Bandha, often used in the the Ashtanga practice. The Sanskrit term Mūla denotes "root" or "base", and is engaged at the root of the spine. More precisely, it's at the centre of the pelvic floor called the perineum. By slightly contracting this muscle-tissue, an energetic seal is created that is said to lock prana into the body and prevent it from leaking out at the base of the spine.

As the raging fires within begin to die down and I sink into savasana, I feel the deepest, most blissful relaxation begin to set in. True relaxation has to be earned. Relaxation is not synonymous with laziness. If you are lazy, you have no access to true relaxation. You need to apply yourself. You need to work hard. Giving as much of yourself as you can, giving your strongest efforts and most fiery passion, this is the doorway to the deepest most freeing sense of relaxation. This is what truly makes the yogic experience so worthwhile. It's time to reap those benefits as my head sinks into my pillow, overcome with appreciation as my consciousness withdraws itself from my physical shell.


sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?

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