The foundation of our bodies and our yoga practice lies at our feet. In order to incorporate both physical and energetic foundations, we must examine our body’s center of energy, movement and balance which begins near the psoas muscle– the pair of deep muscles extending from the sides of the spine to the femur that are activated in yoga postures like forward bending (paschimottanasana), Boat pose; and lengthened in poses like Warrior I and Bow.
In the last two newsletters I’ve covered both mula and uddiyana bandhas from an anatomical point of view. I feel the need to finish off these two articles with one on the breath. It seems to me that without breath, there are no bandhas. In fact, as the title says, from breath comes bandha. My logic works like this, if we’re going to try and control as well as use energy in our body, then we have to be bringing that energy in. In yoga, there is one way in which energy comes in and it is through the breath.
The bandhas (mula bandha specifically) are perhaps the most difficult aspect to grasp in the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. For me personally, I think I know what they are. But then I look back at my little life as an Ashtangi, amazingly at 11 years now, and realize, I thought I knew what they were 10 years ago. Then just 5 years ago I understand them even more differently than I do today. My experience of them has changed over the years and will continue to as I’m guessing your experience of them will.
Something I often talk about is our neuromuscular patterns. What are they? How do we develop them? Do they help us? Do they harm us?
The truth is, that at present, the most popular way to interface with the long tradition of yoga is through our physicality. This is not a bad thing. Personally I believe that the journey toward acquiring self-knowledge is ultimately inevitable. Who’s to say where one is on their path and whether it is right or wrong for them?
I feel the need for a fresh post. This is directly related to the “debate” I use that terms loosely about nutation and counter nutation of the sacrum that has been going on in the blogosphere. As of late, right here on my own.
I have been contemplating my own writings and particularly my last post to come to some basic agreement about the movement of the SI joint. It brings up a larger issue of what is “real”? I’m not going to get too esoteric about this but what is the balance between subjective and objective reality as it relates to our own body?