Monday, August 13, 2007

Feeling Complete with a Pose:

Whenever you do a pose, you should feel complete physically. In other words, if you feel you absolutely need to follow a pose to balance your body, or release physical tension from the first pose, something was wrong in your initial pose. If you do a backbend and can’t wait to twist or forward fold to release your lower back, you need to work on the alignment in your backbends. If you forward fold and can’t wait to twist to release the tension in your upper back, you need to work on the alignment in your forward fold. Every time you finish a pose, your body should feel balanced and complete.

I noticed this idea most in Ustrasana (Camel Pose). Every time I came out I couldn’t wait to drop to Balasana (Child’s Pose). I needed to release the tension in my lower back. When I finally realized I was not complete after Ustrasana, I began to work on my alignment. When I went into the pose with more control and didn’t go as deeply into the pose, my lower back didn’t need the release anymore. I still enjoy Balasana after Ustrasana, but I don’t need it to balance me.

I want to add one more point to this thought. You should feel complete physically, that doesn’t mean that energetically you should feel complete. In particular, regarding back bends and headstands. Back bends are incredibly stimulating and need forward folds to follow to calm the nervous system (especially if you are practicing at night and you want to sleep!) Headstands need to be followed by shoulderstand for the same reason.