The Body bit
Why body-based (somatic) practice?
Well there’s lots of reasons. From a Yogic perspective strength and mobility are side effects of good practice. Side effects are cool, just not the main reason to practice.
Mobility is the capacity to move freely. It’s a combination of strength with enough functional flexibility.
Pushing for flexibility or hanging out in long stretches is unhealthy for the fascial web, it reduces elasticity and weakens muscles.
Functional flexibility is simply enough bendiness, with good elastic recoil, to move well and with grace.
Strength – and power in the body balances the mobility. Our muscles need to be strong for their full range of mobility or they end up saggy and useless.
We need to practice in ways that balances mobility and stability, through the balance of flexibility and strength.
The Heart bit…
The yoga of relationship is super important. Most yoga is all about ‘me’. We do it alone on our mats and on our meditation cushion. Yet we are relationship, we are made of food as sunlight, water and earth. All our thoughts and ideas are informed by those who came before us and who live around us. We breathe in as others breath out. When we go deep enough into boundary-less-ness, we find there are no ‘others’.
Compassion based practice is one of the ways we explore this me-you-them divide, which is no divide.
The Energy bit…
Tune into the breath and feel that it’s directly linked to the feelings of life energy flow in your body and how you are in our mind. Conscious breath is profound medicine for the ills of the modern world, it is organic and simple, ever present and always available. It teaches about priorities and values.
Is anything that you own more precious than your life breath?
As you breathe with awareness, notice your experience of time. What happens?
Life breath and quality time, priorities and values.
From here what else is precious in your life, then make sure you be it and do it every day.
The Mind bit…
Body and mind run on biological algorithms. You can’t not breath, the body is going to do it regardless of what you think you want. Thinking happens, its what brains do.
It’s simply a question of your relationship with your breath and your mind processes such as thinking.
You can push your biology but you can’t drive it.
The settings of these biological algorithms are deep down in our evolution from when fish came out of water onto the land 400 million years ago and older than that.
These bits of the brain that coordinate breathing, that co-evolved with lungs and limbs and all the deep structures that control all this are part of what we work with in Engaged Yoga.
We get to feel our own prehistory, directly.
The Ecology bit…
At the end of July I’ve got a new book coming out titled – Protecting Planet Earth, humanity, diversity and ecology.
This radical new book is a guide to protecting our planet (and our selves) from the ravages of human stupidity and changes the mythology of human supremacy.
Did you know you exist courtesy of the trillions of little organisms in your gut and on your skin. When a baby is born it is coated in its mothers bugs and drinks them from her nipples. This protects it from all the nasty bugs.
We need the good bugs and we don’t even really know yet which one’s those are. We are a interdependent part of the web of species on this planet. As we eradicate them we eradicate ourselves.
We really are all in it together!
My book – the Way of Desire, the Biophilia Tantra unites desire and spirituality in a cohesive understanding of what it is to be human. It utilises sensuality and intimacy as a powerful part of the path to awakening. For modern day yoga practitioners and tantrikas, this book is a must, a prerequisite to deeper practice. Get it here...
Engaged Yoga – yoga woven into daily life is now only £9.99. Get it here…
You can get yourself some more worthy and good reads right here…