New Beginnings , Staying Close

“When an asana comes about spontaneously as a natural expression of one’s interior state , it will be perfect.  That is to say , the position of the legs, hands, arms , head , the gaze… everything will be as it should be …  Performance of an asana by an effort of will can never have the same perfection . Asanas are connected with the rhythm of one’s breath, and the breath with one’s state of mind at any particular time”
Sri Anandamay

The beauty and what also brings me closer and back again to what is happening in my practice . Is a reeducation of how I understand and come to my body . In each asana there is an opportunity to ‘unthink’  what I may know about a posture as I ‘unthink’  how my body might behave.  And so it goes an opportunity to let go of unnecessary burdens of habit – on the mental and physical level.  All thoughts begin with sensation and there is an intelligence below habit activity that is the wellspring for the ‘perfect’ posture to unfold.  I can’t ‘do’ it.
Each time staying so close is about being wide, as to also create space – the closeness of my listening  is imbued with a gentleness of enquiry , an allowing , a readiness to let go of all that might have happened before and let the body show me.   In the space of not knowing,  something else might happen.
Gently, over time I have become witness to whisperings of my body arriving , an alive presence in my spine,  that seems to infuse my whole being when I rest in its presence.   And a wisdom in ways that my limbs orchestrate themselves that are not about fixing or forcing myself into shape but a dialogue that allows them to find their ‘place’,  a song of deeper harmony emerges between them and my spine.   And I am reminded of these words from Diane Longs book :

” Through enquiry and practice , we begin to glimpse another way of being in our body, which we recognise as being true to the way it is made.  However effortful it seems, the body is grateful and feels refreshed as though it has come home to itself .
If our practice can be imbued with rhythm and a quiet, receptive attitude ,  dialogue is established in which waiting for the body’s response is just as important as performing an action” 

Diane Long , from her book Notes on Yoga , The Legacy of Vanda Scaravelli
by Diane Long and Sophy Hoare

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