The time we spend on the yoga mat is an opportunity to allow the natural intelligence of the body to show us better ways of moving and being. The understandings we gain from our practice remain with us when we roll up our mats and they infuse our everyday activities so improving their quality. We do this by:
- letting go of ambition (to be proud of our postures is bad taste!)
- stopping the pushing and pulling
- releasing tension
- putting aside ideas about what a pose is and how it 'should' be done
- making friends with our bodies and treating them with respect
- becoming aware of our habits and conditioning and understanding them so that we can leave them behind
"You have to learn how to listen to your body, going with it and not against it, avoiding all effort or strain and centering your attention on that very delicate point, the back of the waist (where the spine moves in two opposite directions). You will be amazed to discover that, if you are kind to your body, it will respond in an incredible way." Vanda Scaravelli in "Awakening the Spine" page 16Her student of 23 years, Diane Long, continues the work.
Vanda's book "Awakening the Spine" was published when she was in her eighties and it quickly became a classic. At the time her way of working seemed revolutionary to many but it was probably more akin to the way the early yogis learnt about the body and discovered the postures. Links to articles about Vanda Scaravelli and this way of working.
Mark was impressed (he's even less of a wordsmith than I!) and got me to put it on his existing website.